Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
4/5/2020

Title 55.1. Property and Conveyances [Effective October 1, 2019]

Subtitle I. Property Conveyances

Chapter 1. Creation and Limitation of Estates.

Article 1. Creation and Transfer of Estates

§ 55.1-100. (Effective October 1, 2019) Aliens may acquire, hold, and transmit real estate; when reciprocity required.

Any alien, not an enemy, may acquire by purchase or descent and hold real estate in the Commonwealth, and such real estate shall be transmitted in the same manner as real estate held by citizens. However, if, at the time of the transfer, a court of the Commonwealth determines that the laws of a foreign country or sovereignty effectively deny a Virginia resident, legatee, or distributee the benefit, use, or control of money or other property held in such foreign country or sovereignty, a judgment or order issued in the Commonwealth concerning the rights of a resident of that foreign country or sovereignty to the benefit, use, or control of money or property held in the Commonwealth may direct that the money or property be paid into the court for the benefit of the alien. The money or property paid into court shall be paid out only upon order of the court or pursuant to the order or judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction. Any of the money or property remaining with the court upon expiration of three years from the decedent's death shall be paid out by the court as if the alien had predeceased the decedent.

Code 1919, § 66; Code 1950, § 55-1; 1993, c. 535; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-101. (Effective October 1, 2019) When deed or will necessary to convey estate; no parol partition or gift valid.

A. No estate of inheritance or freehold in lands shall be conveyed unless by deed or will, and no voluntary partition of lands by coparceners, having such an estate in such land, shall be made except by deed. In addition, no right to a conveyance of any such estate or term in land shall accrue to the donee of the land or those claiming under him, under a gift or promise of gift of such estate or term in land not in writing, even if such gift or promise is followed by possession and improvement of the land by the donee or those claiming under him.

B. Any lease agreement or other written document conveying a non-freehold estate in land, which was entered into before, and which remains in effect as of, February 13, 2019, or which is entered into after February 13, 2019, shall not be invalid, unenforceable, or subject to repudiation by the parties to such agreement on account of, or otherwise affected by, the fact that the conveyance of the estate was not in the form of a deed.

Code 1919, § 5141; Code 1950, § 55-2; 2019, cc. 11, 49, 712.

§ 55.1-102. (Effective October 1, 2019) When gift of personal property invalid.

No gift of any personal property is valid (i) unless conveyed by deed or will or (ii) unless the donee or a person claiming under the donee has and remains in actual possession of such personal property. If the donor and donee reside together at the time of the gift, possession at the place of their residence is not a sufficient possession within the meaning of this section. This section shall not apply to personal paraphernalia used exclusively by the donee.

Code 1919, § 5142; Code 1950, § 55-3; 1973, c. 401; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-103. (Effective October 1, 2019) Suicide or attainder of felony.

Neither suicide nor attainder of felony shall cause a corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate.

Code 1919, § 4762; Code 1950, § 55-4; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-104. (Effective October 1, 2019) Estates to lie in grant as well as in livery.

All real estate shall, as regards the conveyance of the immediate freehold thereof, be deemed to lie in grant as well as in livery.

Code 1919, § 5146; Code 1950, § 55-5; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-105. (Effective October 1, 2019) Same estates may be created by deed as by will.

Any interest in or claim to real estate, including easements in gross, may be transferred by deed or will. Any estate may be made to commence at a future date, by deed, in like manner as by will, and any estate that would be valid as an executory devise or bequest is valid if created by deed.

Code 1919, § 5147; Code 1950, § 55-6; 1962, c. 169; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-106. (Effective October 1, 2019) Power of disposal in life tenant not to defeat remainder unless exercised; power of disposal held by fiduciary.

If any interest in or claim to real estate or personal property is disposed of by deed or will for life, with a limitation in remainder over, and the same instrument confers expressly or by implication a power upon the life tenant in his lifetime or by will to dispose absolutely of such property, the limitation in remainder over shall not fail, or be defeated, except to the extent that the life tenant lawfully exercised such power of disposal. A deed of trust or mortgage executed by the life tenant shall not be construed to be an absolute disposition of the estate, unless such estate is sold under the deed of trust or mortgage. A power of disposal held by any person in a fiduciary capacity under an express trust in writing shall not be deemed to be held by such fiduciary in a beneficial capacity and shall not be construed in any manner to enlarge the beneficial interest otherwise given to him under such trust.

Code 1919, § 5147; Code 1950, § 55-7; 1978, c. 659; 2005, c. 935; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-107. (Effective October 1, 2019) Default or surrender of tenant for life not to prejudice remainderman.

If any tenant for life of land make default or surrender, the heirs or those entitled to the remainder may, before judgment, be admitted to defend their right or, after judgment, may assert their right without prejudice from such default or surrender.

Code 1919, § 5443; Code 1950, § 55-8; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-108. (Effective October 1, 2019) Conveyance of estate or interest in property by grantor to himself and another.

Any person having an estate or interest in real or personal property may convey such estate or interest to himself or to himself and another or others, including to himself and his spouse as tenants by the entirety or otherwise, and the fact that one or more persons are both grantor or grantee or grantors and grantees in the same conveyance shall be no objection to the conveyance. The grantee or grantees in any such conveyance shall take title in like manner, and the estate vested in them shall be the same as if the conveyance had been made by one or more persons who are not also grantee or grantees.

All such conveyances made prior to July 1, 1986, are validated notwithstanding defects in the form thereof that do not affect vested rights.

1945, p. 39; Michie Suppl. 1946, § 5147a; Code 1950, § 55-9; 1986, c. 583; 1987, c. 186; 1999, c. 196; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-109. (Effective October 1, 2019) Deed valid for grantor's right; operation of warranty.

A writing that purports to pass or assure a greater right or interest in real estate than the person making it may lawfully pass or assure shall operate as an alienation of such right or interest in such real estate as such person might lawfully convey or assure; and when the deed of the alienor mentions that he and his heirs will warrant what it purports to pass or assure, if anything descends from him, his heirs shall be barred for the value of what is so descended or liable for such value.

Code 1919, § 5148; Code 1950, § 55-10; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-110. (Effective October 1, 2019) Conveyance, devise, or grant without words of limitation.

When any real estate is conveyed, devised, or granted to any person without any words of limitation, such conveyance, devise, or grant shall be construed to pass the fee simple or other whole estate or interest that the testator or grantor has power to dispose of in such real estate, unless a contrary intention is apparent in the conveyance, devise, or grant.

Code 1919, § 5149; Code 1950, § 55-11; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-111. (Effective October 1, 2019) Fee tail converted into fee simple.

Every estate in lands so limited that, as the law was on October 7, 1776, such estate would have been an estate tail shall be deemed an estate in fee simple, and every limitation upon such an estate shall be held valid if the same would be valid when limited upon an estate in fee simple created by technical language.

Code 1919, § 5150; Code 1950, § 55-12; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-112. (Effective October 1, 2019) Estate of freehold to one with remainder to heirs, etc.; rule in Shelley's Case abolished.

Wherever any person by deed, will, or other writing takes an estate of freehold in land, or takes such an interest in personal property as would be an estate of freehold if it were an estate in land, and in the same deed, will, or writing an estate is afterwards limited by way of remainder to his heirs, or the heirs of his body, or his issue, the words "heirs," "heirs of his body," and "issue," or other words of like import used in the deed, will, or writing in the limitation therein by way of remainder shall not be construed as words of limitation carrying to such person the inheritance as to the land, or the absolute estate as to the personal property, but they shall be construed as words of purchase, creating a remainder in the heirs, heirs of the body, or issue.

Code 1919, § 5152; Code 1950, § 55-14; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-113. (Effective October 1, 2019) Doctrine of worthier title abolished.

The doctrine of worthier title is abolished in the Commonwealth as a rule of law and as a rule of construction.

2007, c. 215, § 55-14.1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-114. (Effective October 1, 2019) When contingent remainder not to fail.

A contingent remainder shall not fail for want of a particular estate to support it.

Code 1919, § 5153; Code 1950, § 55-15; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-115. (Effective October 1, 2019) When remainders not defeated.

The alienation of a particular estate on which a remainder depends, or the union of such estate with the inheritance by purchase or descent, shall not operate, by merger or otherwise, to defeat, impair, or otherwise affect such remainder.

Code 1919, § 5154; Code 1950, § 55-16; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-116. (Effective October 1, 2019) In what conveyances possession transferred to the use.

By deed of bargain and sale, or by deeds of lease and release, or by covenant to stand seized to the use, or deed operating by way of covenant to stand seized to the use, the possession of the grantor shall be deemed transferred to the grantee or other person entitled to the use, for the estate or interest that such person has in the use, as perfectly as if the grantee or other person entitled to the use had been enfeoffed with livery of seisin of the land intended to be conveyed by such deed or covenant.

Code 1919, § 5155; Code 1950, § 55-17; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-117. (Effective October 1, 2019) Land trusts not to fail because no beneficiaries are specified by name and no duties laid on trustee; when interest of beneficiaries deemed personal property; liens.

No trust relating to real estate shall fail nor shall any use relating to real estate be defeated because no beneficiaries are specified by name in the recorded deed of conveyance to the trustee or because no duties are imposed upon the trustee. The power conferred by any such instrument on a trustee to sell, lease, encumber, or otherwise dispose of property described in such instrument shall be effective, and no person dealing with such a trustee shall be required to make further inquiry as to the right of such trustee to act, nor shall he be required to inquire as to the disposition of any proceeds.

In any case under this section where there is a recorded deed of conveyance to a trustee, the interest of the beneficiaries thereunder shall be deemed to be personal property. Judgments against a beneficiary and consensual liens against real property of a beneficiary do not attach to real property that is the subject of such a deed of conveyance unless the judgment is docketed or the lien recorded in the county or city where the property is located (i) before recordation of the deed creating the land trust and (ii) while the beneficiary has record title to the real property.

In any case under this section where there is a recorded deed of conveyance to a trustee and the trustee named in the deed declines to serve, resigns, is disqualified or removed, or is adjudicated incapacitated and there is (a) no successor trustee named in the deed, (b) no successor trustee designated by the terms of the trust instrument, or (c) no procedure set forth in the deed or trust instrument to designate a successor trustee, the beneficiaries of the trust, by majority decision, shall name a successor trustee. However, if the identities of the beneficiaries of the trust cannot be identified from the recorded deed of conveyance or a majority of the beneficiaries are unable to agree upon a successor trustee, the circuit court of the county or city in which the deed was recorded, upon the motion of any party interested in the administration of the trust, shall appoint a successor trustee whenever the court considers the appointment necessary for the administration of the trust. The name and address of any successor trustee so named or appointed shall be recorded with the clerk of the circuit court of the county or city in which the deed was recorded, and such successor trustee shall succeed to all the rights, powers, and privileges, and shall be subject to all the duties, liabilities, and responsibilities imposed upon, the original trustee unless the deed of conveyance expressly provides to the contrary.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to (1) affect any right that a creditor may otherwise have against a trustee or beneficiary except as provided in this section, (2) enlarge upon the power of a corporation to act as trustee under § 6.2-1001, or (3) affect the rule against perpetuities.

1962, c. 452, § 55-17.1; 1975, c. 375; 1993, c. 454; 2011, c. 661; 2012, c. 558; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-118. (Effective October 1, 2019) Deed of release effectual.

Every deed of release of any estate or interest capable of passing by deed of lease or release shall be as effectual for the purposes expressed in such deed of release, without the execution of a lease, as if the same had been executed.

Code 1919, § 5156; Code 1950, § 55-18; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-119. (Effective October 1, 2019) When person not a party, etc., may take or sue under instrument.

An immediate estate or interest in or the benefit of a condition respecting any estate may be taken by a person under an instrument, although he is not a party to such instrument; and if a covenant or promise is made for the benefit, in whole or in part, of a person with whom it is not made, or with whom it is made jointly with others, such person, whether named in the instrument or not, may maintain in his own name any action thereon that he might maintain as though it had been made with him only and the consideration had moved from him to the party making such covenant or promise. In such action, the covenantor or promisor shall be permitted to make all defenses he may have, not only against the covenantee or promisee, but also against such beneficiary.

Code 1919, § 5143; Code 1950, § 55-22; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-120. (Effective October 1, 2019) Informalities in deeds made by attorneys-in-fact.

If, in a deed made by one as attorney-in-fact for another, the words of conveyance or the signature is in the name of the attorney, it is as much the principal's deed as if the words of conveyance or the signature were in the name of the principal by the attorney, if it is manifest on the face of the deed that it should be construed to be that of the principal to give effect to its intent.

Code 1919, § 5145; Code 1950, § 55-23; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-121. (Effective October 1, 2019) Time for objections to irregularities in advertising sales made by trustees.

All deeds made and executed prior to January 1, 1940, by trustees conveying property sold under deeds of trust in which default was made in the debt secured and as to which irregularities in advertising such sales have occurred shall be held and the same are hereby declared valid in all respects, if otherwise valid according to law then in force, after the expiration of 15 years from the date on which such sale was made by such trustees.

1924, p. 308; Michie Code 1942, § 5827b; Code 1950, § 55-24; 1952, c. 375; 1960, c. 105; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-122. (Effective October 1, 2019) Recovery at death of life tenant of taxes paid on life estate.

When any person dies possessed of a life estate in real estate that was assessed with taxes in the name of such life tenant for the year in which such life tenant dies and such taxes are paid for that year by any person other than the remainderman entitled to such real estate, such person or his estate so paying such taxes shall be entitled to recover from such remainderman such proportionate part of the sum so paid as that part of the year following the death of the life tenant bears to the entire year, provided, however, that if upon the death of the life tenant the real estate shall come into the possession of another life tenant, such recovery shall be had from the subsequent life tenant and not from the remainderman.

1932, p. 331; Michie Code 1942, § 5392a; Code 1950, § 55-25; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-123. (Effective October 1, 2019) Removal of a cloud on title; nature of plaintiff's title.

When a petition is filed to remove a cloud on the title to real estate, relief shall not be denied the complainant because he has only an equitable title to such real estate and is out of possession, but the court shall grant to the complainant such relief as he would be entitled to if he held the legal title and was in possession. If an issue of fact is raised which but for this section would entitle either party to a trial by jury, the court shall, upon the request of the party so entitled, order such issue to be tried by a jury.

Code 1919, § 6248; Code 1950, § 55-153; 2019, c. 712.

Article 2. Rule Against Perpetuities

§ 55.1-124. (Effective October 1, 2019) Uniform Statutory Rule Against Perpetuities.

A. A nonvested property interest is invalid unless:

1. When the interest is created, it is certain to vest or terminate no later than 21 years after the death of an individual then alive; or

2. The interest either vests or terminates within 90 years after its creation.

B. A general power of appointment not presently exercisable because of a condition precedent is invalid unless:

1. When the power is created, the condition precedent is certain to be satisfied or becomes impossible to satisfy no later than 21 years after the death of an individual then alive; or

2. The condition precedent either is satisfied or becomes impossible to satisfy within 90 years after its creation.

C. A nongeneral power of appointment or a general testamentary power of appointment is invalid unless:

1. When the power is created, it is certain to be irrevocably exercised or otherwise to terminate no later than 21 years after the death of an individual then alive; or

2. The power is irrevocably exercised or otherwise terminates within 90 years after its creation.

D. In determining whether a nonvested property interest or a power of appointment is valid under subdivision A 1, B 1, or C 1, the possibility that a child will be born to an individual after the individual's death is disregarded.

E. If, in measuring a period from the creation of a trust or other property arrangement, language in a governing instrument (i) seeks to disallow the vesting or termination of any interest or trust beyond, (ii) seeks to postpone the vesting or termination of any interest or trust until, or (iii) seeks to operate in effect in any similar fashion upon, the later of (a) the expiration of a period of time not exceeding 21 years after the death of the survivor of specified lives in being at the creation of the trust or other property arrangement or (b) the expiration of a period of time that exceeds or might exceed 21 years after the death of the survivor of lives in being at the creation of the trust or other property arrangement, that language is inoperative to the extent it produces a period of time that exceeds 21 years after the death of the survivor of the specified lives.

2000, c. 714, § 55-12.1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-125. (Effective October 1, 2019) When nonvested property interest or power of appointment created.

A. Except as provided in subsections B and C and in § 55.1-128, the time of creation of a nonvested property interest or a power of appointment is determined under general principles of property law.

B. For the purposes of §§ 55.1-124 through 55.1-129, if there is a person who alone can exercise a power created by a governing instrument to become the unqualified beneficial owner of (i) a nonvested property interest or (ii) a property interest subject to a power of appointment described in subsection B or C in § 55.1-124, the nonvested property interest or power of appointment is created when the power to become the unqualified beneficial owner terminates.

C. For the purposes of §§ 55.1-124 through 55.1-129, a nonvested property interest or a power of appointment arising from a transfer of property to a previously funded trust or other existing property arrangement is created when the nonvested property interest or power of appointment in the original contribution was created.

2000, c. 714, § 55-12.2; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-126. (Effective October 1, 2019) Reformation.

Upon the petition of an interested person, a circuit court in the county or city in which the affected property or the greater part of such property is located shall reform a disposition in the manner that most closely approximates the transferor's manifested plan of distribution and is within the 90 years allowed by subdivision A 2, B 2, or C 2 of § 55.1-124 if:

1. A nonvested property interest or a power of appointment becomes invalid under § 55.1-124;

2. A class gift is not but might become invalid under § 55.1-124 and the time has arrived when the share of any class member is to take effect in possession or enjoyment; or

3. A nonvested property interest that is not validated by subdivision A 1 of § 55.1-124 can vest but not within 90 years after its creation.

2000, c. 714, § 55-12.3; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-127. (Effective October 1, 2019) Exclusions from statutory rule against perpetuities.

A. Section 55.1-124 does not apply to:

1. A nonvested property interest or a power of appointment arising out of a nondonative transfer, except a nonvested property interest or a power of appointment arising out of (i) a premarital or postmarital agreement; (ii) a separation or divorce settlement; (iii) a spouse's election; (iv) a similar arrangement arising out of a prospective, existing, or previous marital relationship between the parties; (v) a contract to make or not to revoke a will or trust; (vi) a contract to exercise or not to exercise a power of appointment; (vii) a transfer in satisfaction of a duty of support; or (viii) a reciprocal transfer;

2. A fiduciary's power relating to the administration or management of assets, including the power of a fiduciary to sell, lease, or mortgage property, and the power of a fiduciary to determine principal and income;

3. A power to appoint a fiduciary;

4. A discretionary power of trustee to distribute principal before termination of a trust to a beneficiary having an indefensibly vested interest in the income and principal;

5. A nonvested property interest held by a charity, government, or governmental agency or subdivision, if the nonvested property interest is preceded by an interest held by another charity, government, or governmental agency or subdivision;

6. A nonvested property interest in or a power of appointment with respect to a trust or other property arrangement forming part of a pension, profit-sharing, stock bonus, health, disability, death benefit, income deferral, or other current or deferred benefit plan for one or more employees, independent contractors, or their beneficiaries or spouses, to which contributions are made for the purpose of distributing to or for the benefit of the participants or their beneficiaries or spouses the property, income, or principal in the trust or other property arrangement, except a nonvested property interest or a power of appointment that is created by an election of a participant or a beneficiary or spouse;

7. A property interest, power of appointment, or arrangement that was not subject to the common-law rule against perpetuities or is excluded by another statute of the Commonwealth; or

8. A nonvested interest in or power of appointment over personal property held in trust, or a power of appointment over personal property granted under a trust, if the trust instrument, by its terms, provides that § 55.1-124 shall not apply.

B. The exception to the Uniform Statutory Rule Against Perpetuities under subdivision A 8 shall not extend to real property held in trust. For purposes of this subsection, real property does not include an interest in a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, business trust, or other entity, even if such entity owns an interest in real property.

2000, c. 714, § 55-12.4; 2013, c. 323; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-128. (Effective October 1, 2019) Prospective application.

Sections 55.1-124 through 55.1-129 apply to a nonvested property interest or a power of appointment that is created on or after July 1, 2000. For purposes of this section, a nonvested property interest or a power of appointment created by the exercise of a power of appointment is created when the power is irrevocably exercised or when a revocable exercise becomes irrevocable.

2000, c. 714, § 55-12.5; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-129. (Effective October 1, 2019) Uniformity of application and construction.

Sections 55.1-124 through 55.1-129 shall be applied and construed to effectuate their general purpose to make the law uniform with respect to the rule against perpetuities among states enacting it.

2000, c. 714, § 55-12.6; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-130. (Effective October 1, 2019) Certain limitations construed.

Every limitation in any deed or will contingent upon the dying of any person without heirs, heirs of the body, issue, issue of the body, children, offspring or descendants, or other relatives shall be construed a limitation to take effect when such person dies not having such heir, issue, child, offspring, descendant, or other relative, as the case may be, living at the time of his death, or born to him within 10 months after his death, unless the intention of such limitation be otherwise plainly declared on the face of the deed or will creating it.

Code 1919, § 5151; Code 1950, § 55-13; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-131. (Effective October 1, 2019) Employee trusts.

Pension, profit sharing, stock bonus, annuity, or other employee trusts established by employers for the purpose of distributing the income and principal of such trust to some or all of their employees, or the beneficiaries of such employees, shall not be invalid as violating any laws or rules against perpetuities or restraints on the power of alienation of title to property; but such trusts may continue for such period of time as may be required by their provisions to accomplish the purposes for which they are established.

1950, p. 740, § 55-13.1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-132. (Effective October 1, 2019) Determination of "lives in being" for purpose of rule against perpetuities.

A. For the purpose of determining whether the terms of an inter vivos trust provide for a duration in excess of that allowed under the rule against perpetuities, the determination of "lives in being" shall be made as of the death of the settlor, if the settlor has at his death the unrestricted right, acting alone, to revoke the trust or to have transferred to himself the entire legal and beneficial interest in all property, both principal and income, held in the trust. In the event that the settlor surrenders both such rights at any time prior to his death, the determination of "lives in being" shall be made as of the time that the settlor, upon establishment of the trust or otherwise, surrenders the unrestricted right acting alone to revoke the trust and the unrestricted right acting alone to have transferred to himself the entire legal and beneficial interest in all property, both principal and income, held in the trust.

B. This section shall apply only to a nonvested property interest in an inter vivos trust created before July 1, 2000.

1966, c. 260, § 55-13.2; 2000, c. 714; 2019, c. 712

§ 55.1-133. (Effective October 1, 2019) Application of the rule against perpetuities to nondonative transfers.

A. Except for the transactions set forth in § 55.1-127, which are governed by the provisions of §§ 55.1-124 through 55.1-129, a nondonative transfer of an interest in property fails, if the interest does not vest, if it ever vests, within the period of the common-law rule against perpetuities.

B. The provisions of this section (i) in force on June 30, 2000, shall apply to all donative interests created on or after July 1, 1982, and before July 1, 2000, and (ii) in force on July 1, 2000, shall apply to all nondonative interests created on or after July 1, 1982.

1982, c. 249, § 55-13.3; 2000, cc. 658, 714; 2013, c. 323; 2019, c. 712.

Article 3. Joint Ownership of Real or Personal Property

§ 55.1-134. (Effective October 1, 2019) Survivorship between joint tenants abolished.

A. When any joint tenant dies, before or after the vesting of the estate, whether the estate is real or personal, or whether partition could have been compelled or not, his part shall descend to his heirs, pass by devise, or go to his personal representative, subject to debts or distribution, as if he had been a tenant in common.

B. This section shall not apply to any estate that joint tenants have as fiduciaries or to any real or personal property transferred to persons in their own right when it manifestly appears from the tenor of the instrument transferring such property or memorializing the existence of a chose in action that it was intended the part of the one dying should then belong to the others. This section does not affect the mode of proceeding on any joint judgment or order in favor of or on any contract with two or more one of whom dies.

Code 1919, §§ 5159, 5160; Code 1950, §§ 55-20, 55-21; 1990, c. 831; 1999, c. 196; 2001, c. 718; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-135. (Effective October 1, 2019) Joint ownership in real and personal property.

Any persons may own real or personal property as joint tenants with or without a right of survivorship. When any person causes any real or personal property, or any written memorial of a chose in action, to be titled, registered, or endorsed in the name of two or more persons "jointly," as "joint tenants," in a "joint tenancy," or other similar language, such persons shall own the property in a joint tenancy without survivorship as provided in § 55.1-134. If, in addition, the expression "with survivorship," or any equivalent language, is employed in such titling, registering, or endorsing, it shall be presumed that such persons are intended to own the property as joint tenants with the right of survivorship as at common law. This section is not applicable to multiple party accounts under Article 2 (§ 6.2-604 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of Title 6.2 or to any other matter specifically governed by another provision of the Code.

If any real or personal property is conveyed or devised to spouses, they shall take and hold such property by moieties in the same manner as if a distinct moiety had been given to each spouse by a separate conveyance, unless language as provided in this section or in § 55.1-136 is used that designates the tenancy as a joint tenancy or a tenancy by the entirety and all requirements for holding property by such tenancy are met.

Code 1919, § 5160; Code 1950, § 55-21; 1999, c. 196, § 55-20.1; 2000, c. 331; 2001, c. 718; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-136. (Effective October 1, 2019) Tenants by the entirety in real and personal property; certain trusts.

A. Spouses may own real or personal property as tenants by the entirety for as long as they are married. Personal property may be owned as tenants by the entirety whether or not the personal property represents the proceeds of the sale of real property. An intent that the part of the one dying should belong to the other shall be manifest from a designation of the spouses as "tenants by the entireties" or "tenants by the entirety."

B. Except as otherwise provided by statute, no interest in real property held as tenants by the entirety shall be severed by written instrument unless the instrument is a deed signed by both spouses as grantors.

C. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of § 64.2-747, any property of spouses that is held by them as tenants by the entirety and conveyed to their joint revocable or irrevocable trusts, or to their separate revocable or irrevocable trusts, and any proceeds of the sale or disposition of such property, shall have the same immunity from the claims of their separate creditors as it would if it had remained a tenancy by the entirety, so long as (i) they remain married to each other, (ii) it continues to be held in the trust or trusts, and (iii) it continues to be their property, including where both spouses are current beneficiaries of one trust that holds the entire property or each spouse is a current beneficiary of a separate trust and the two separate trusts together hold the entire property, whether or not other persons are also current or future beneficiaries of the trust or trusts. The immunity from the claims of separate creditors under this subsection may be waived as to any specific creditor, including any separate creditor of either spouse, or any specifically described property, including any former tenancy by the entirety property conveyed into trust, by the trustee acting under the express provision of a trust instrument or with the written consent of both spouses.

2001, c. 718, § 55-20.2; 2006, c. 281; 2015, c. 424; 2017, c. 38; 2019, c. 712.

Article 4. Virginia Solar Easements Act

§ 55.1-137. (Effective October 1, 2019) Creation of solar easements.

Any easement obtained for the purpose of exposure of solar energy equipment, facilities, or devices shall be created in writing and shall be subject to the same conveyancing and instrument recording requirements as other easements.

1978, c. 323, § 55-353; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-138. (Effective October 1, 2019) Contents of solar easement agreements.

Any instrument creating a solar easement shall include, at a minimum:

1. The vertical and horizontal angles, expressed in degrees, at which the solar easement extends over the real property subject to the solar easement;

2. Any terms or conditions under which the solar easement is granted or will be terminated; and

3. Any provisions for compensation of the owner of the property subject to the solar easement.

1978, c. 323, § 55-354; 2019, c. 712.

Chapter 2. Property Rights of Married Persons.

§ 55.1-200. (Effective October 1, 2019) How married persons may acquire and dispose of property.

Married persons shall have the right to acquire, hold, use, control, and dispose of property as if they were unmarried. Such power of use, control, and disposition shall apply to all property of a married person. The marital rights of persons married to each other shall not entitle either spouse to the possession or use, or to the rents, issues, and profits, of such real estate of the other spouse during the coverture, nor shall the property of either spouse be subject to the debts or liabilities of the other spouse.

Code 1919, § 5134; 1932, p. 21; Code 1950, § 55-35; 1990, c. 831; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-201. (Effective October 1, 2019) Contracts of, and actions by and against, married persons.

A married person may contract and be contracted with and sue and be sued in the same manner and with the same consequences as if he were unmarried, regardless of the date on which the right or liability asserted by or against him accrued. In an action by a married person to recover for a personal injury inflicted on him, he may recover the entire damage sustained, including the personal injury and expenses arising out of the injury, whether chargeable to him or his spouse, notwithstanding that the spouse may be entitled to the benefit of his services about domestic affairs and consortium, and any sum recovered therein shall be chargeable with expenses arising out of the injury, including hospital, medical, and funeral expenses, and any person, including the spouse, partially or completely discharging such debts shall be reimbursed out of the sum recovered in the action, whensoever paid, to the extent that such payment was justified by services rendered or expenses incurred by the obligee, provided that written notice of such claim for reimbursement, and the amount and items thereof, shall be served on such married person and on the defendant prior to any settlement of the sum recovered by him, and no action for such injury, expenses, or loss of services or consortium shall be maintained by his spouse.

Code 1919, § 5134; 1932, p. 21; Code 1950, § 55-36; 1950, p. 460; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-202. (Effective October 1, 2019) Spouse not responsible for other spouse's contracts, etc.; mutual liability for necessaries; responsibility of personal representative.

Except as otherwise provided in this section, a spouse shall not be responsible for the other spouse's contract or tort liability to a third party, whether such liability arose before or after the marriage. The doctrine of necessaries as it existed at common law shall apply equally to both spouses, except where they are permanently living separate and apart, but shall in no event create any liability between such spouses as to each other. No lien arising out of a judgment under this section shall attach to the judgment debtors' principal residence held by them as tenants by the entirety or that was held by them as tenants by the entirety prior to the death of either spouse where the tenancy terminated as a result of the death of either spouse.

Code 1919, § 5134; 1932, p. 22; Code 1950, § 55-37; 1984, c. 504; 1985, c. 202; 2012, c. 45; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-203. (Effective October 1, 2019) Spouse's right of entry into land not barred by certain judgments; when a spouse may defend his right in lands that are his inheritance.

A spouse shall not be barred of his right of entry into land by a judgment in the other spouse's lifetime by default or collusion, but after the other spouse's death may prosecute the same by any proper action; or, in the lifetime of the other spouse, if the other spouse will not appear or, against the spouse's consent, will render the spouse's lands during the coverture in an action against both spouses for lands that are the spouse's inheritance, the spouse may come at any time before judgment and defend his right.

Code 1919, § 5441; Code 1950, § 55-38; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-204. (Effective October 1, 2019) Rights of spouse not affected by other spouse's acts only.

No conveyance or other act by one spouse only of any land that is the inheritance of the other spouse shall be or make any discontinuance thereof, or be prejudicial to the other spouse or his heirs or to any having right or title to the same by his death, but they may respectively enter into such land, according to their right and title in such land, as if no such conveyance or act had been done.

Code 1919, § 5442; Code 1950, § 55-39; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-205. (Effective October 1, 2019) Conveyance from married persons; effect on right of either spouse.

When persons married to each other have signed and delivered a writing purporting to convey any estate, real or personal, such writing, whether recorded or not, shall (i) if delivered prior to January 1, 1991, operate to convey from the spouse her right of dower or his right of curtesy in the real estate embraced in such writing and (ii) if delivered after December 31, 1990, operate to manifest the spouse's written consent or joinder, as contemplated in § 64.2-305 or 64.2-308.9 to the transfer embraced in such writing. In either case, the writing passes from such spouse and his representatives all right, title, and interest of every nature that at the date of such writing he may have in any estate conveyed thereby as effectually as if he were at such date an unmarried person. If, in either case, the writing is a deed conveying a spouse's land, no covenant or warranty in such land on behalf of the other spouse joining in the deed shall operate to bind him any further than to convey his interest in such land, unless it is expressly stated that such spouse enters into such covenant or warranty for the purpose of binding himself personally.

Code 1919, § 5211; Code 1950, § 55-41; 1977, c. 147; 1990, c. 831; 1991, c. 625; 1992, cc. 617, 647; 2016, cc. 187, 269; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-206. (Effective October 1, 2019) How infant spouse may release interests in spouse's property.

Notwithstanding the disability of infancy, on or after January 1, 1991, an infant spouse, whether married before or after January 1, 1991, may release his marital rights in the other spouse's real or personal property by uniting in any contract, deed, or other instrument executed by the other spouse or by a commissioner of a court pursuant to an order entered under §§ 8.01-67 through 8.01-77 or any other law with respect to the infant's property.

1992, cc. 617, 647, § 55-42.1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-207. (Effective October 1, 2019) Appointment of attorney-in-fact by married person; effect of writing executed by such attorney.

A married person, whether a resident of the Commonwealth or not, may, by power of attorney duly executed and acknowledged as prescribed in § 55.1-612 or 55.1-613, appoint an attorney-in-fact to execute and acknowledge, for him and in his name, any deed or other writing that he might execute. Every deed or other writing so executed by such attorney-in-fact in pursuance of such power of attorney while the same remains in force shall be valid and effectual, in all respects, to convey the interest and title of such married person in and to any real estate thereby conveyed or otherwise transferred.

Code 1919, § 5215; 1940, p. 53; Code 1950, § 55-43; 1990, c. 831; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-208. (Effective October 1, 2019) How estate of a married person to pass at death.

When a married person, having title to any estate, dies intestate, such estate, or any part of such estate, shall pass according to the provisions of Chapter 2 (§ 64.2-200 et seq.) of Title 64.2, subject to his debts.

Code 1919, § 5138; Code 1950, § 55-46; 1990, c. 831; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-209. (Effective October 1, 2019) Equitable separate estates abolished.

The estate known as the equitable separate estate no longer exists and any language in any writing, whenever executed, that purports to convey real property to a person as an equitable separate estate has no legal or equitable significance after January 1, 1991, except as provided in § 64.2-301 or 64.2-308.2.

1992, cc. 617, 647, § 55-47.01; 2016, cc. 187, 269; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-210. (Effective October 1, 2019) Tangible personal property.

No presumption of ownership of tangible personal property shall arise by operation of law to prefer one spouse of a marriage over the other if such presumption is based solely on the sex of the spouse.

1977, c. 76, § 55-47.1; 2019, c. 712.

Chapter 3. Form and Effect of Deeds and Covenants; Liens.

Article 1. Form and Effect of Deeds; Easements

§ 55.1-300. (Effective October 1, 2019) Form of a deed.

Every deed and corrected or amended deed may be made in the following form, or to the same effect: "This deed, made the ______ day of ______, in the year ____, between (here insert names of parties as grantors or grantees), witnesseth: that in consideration of (here state the consideration, nominal or actual), the said ________ does (or do) grant (or grant and convey) unto the said ________, all (here describe the property or interest therein to be conveyed, including the name of the city or county in which the property is located, and insert covenants or any other provisions). Witness the following signature (or signatures)."

Code 1919, § 5162; Code 1950, § 55-48; 1990, cc. 208, 374; 2011, c. 701; 2014, c. 338; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-301. (Effective October 1, 2019) How construed.

Unless the deed provides otherwise, any deed conveying land shall be construed to include all the estate, right, title, and interest, both at law and in equity, of the grantor in or to such land.

Code 1919, § 5163; Code 1950, § 55-49; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-302. (Effective October 1, 2019) Construction of generic terms.

In the interpretation of deeds, adopted persons and persons born out of wedlock are included in class gift terminology or terms of relationship in accordance with rules for determining relationships for purposes of intestate succession unless a contrary intent appears on the face of the deed. In determining the intent of a grantor, adopted persons are presumptively included in such terms as "children," "issue," "kindred," "heirs," "relatives," "descendants," or similar words of classification and are presumptively excluded by such terms as "natural children," "issue of the body," "blood kindred," "heirs of the body," "blood relatives," "descendants of the body," or similar words of classification.

1987, c. 604, § 55-49.1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-303. (Effective October 1, 2019) Appurtenances, etc., included in deed of land.

Every deed conveying land shall be construed to include all buildings, privileges, and appurtenances of every kind belonging to such land unless an exception is made in the deed.

Code 1919, § 5168; Code 1950, § 55-50; 1992, c. 373; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-304. (Effective October 1, 2019) Relocation of easement.

The owner of land that is subject to an easement for the purpose of ingress and egress may relocate the easement, on the servient estate, by recording in the office of the clerk of the circuit court of the county or city in which the easement or any part of such easement is located, a written agreement evidencing the consent of all affected persons and setting forth the new location of the easement. In the absence of such written agreement, the owner of the land that is subject to such easement may seek relocation of the easement on the servient estate upon petition to the circuit court and notice to all parties in interest. The petition shall be granted if, after a hearing held, the court finds that (i) the relocation will not result in economic damage to the parties in interest, (ii) there will be no undue hardship created by the relocation, and (iii) the easement has been in existence for not less than 10 years.

Code 1919, § 5168; Code 1950, § 55-50; 1992, c. 373; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-305. (Effective October 1, 2019) Enjoyment of easement.

Unless otherwise provided for in the terms of an easement, the owner of a dominant estate shall not use an easement in a way that is not reasonably consistent with the uses contemplated by the grant of the easement, and the owner of the servient estate shall not engage in an activity or cause to be present any objects either upon the burdened land or immediately adjacent to such land that unreasonably interferes with the enjoyment of the easement by the owner of the dominant estate. For the purposes of this section, "object" does not include any fence, electric fence, cattle guard, gate, or division fence adjacent to such easement as those terms are defined in §§ 55.1-2800 through 55.1-2826. Any violation of this section may be deemed a private nuisance, provided, however, that the remedy for a violation of this section shall not in any manner impair the right to any other relief that may be applicable at law or in equity.

2003, c. 774, § 55-50.1; 2007, c. 931; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-306. (Effective October 1, 2019) Utility easements.

A. For the purposes of this section, "utility services" means any products, services, and equipment related to energy, telecommunications, water, and sewerage.

B. Where an easement, whether appurtenant or gross, is expressly granted by an instrument recorded on or after July 1, 2006, that imposes on a servient tract of land a covenant (i) to provide an easement in the future for the benefit of utility services; (ii) to relocate, construct, or maintain facilities owned by an entity that provides utility services; or (iii) to pay the cost of such relocation, construction, or maintenance, such covenant shall be deemed for all purposes to touch and concern the servient tract, to run with the servient tract, its successors, and assigns for the benefit of the entity providing utility services, its successors, and assigns.

2006, c. 795, § 55-50.2; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-307. (Effective October 1, 2019) Public road easements; maintenance and improvements.

Whenever a public road that has never been abandoned but is no longer publicly maintained serves as access for more than one property owner and operates as the primary source of ingress and egress for that property, any one of the property owners may maintain, repair, or improve the road at his own expense without the express permission of the other property owners but only after administrative review by the local government. All other property owners shall be notified by mail of any pending maintenance, repair, or improvements prior to commencement of the work. Nothing in this section shall be construed as allowing the property owner who is doing the maintenance, repairs, or improvements to the road to interfere with the other property owners' use of the road for ingress and egress.

2008, c. 599, § 55-50.3; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-308. (Effective October 1, 2019) Private roads; public use; maintenance and improvements.

Notwithstanding any provision of a recorded deed or plat to the contrary, a private road serving a subdivision of 50 or fewer lots may be dedicated for public use and may be taken into the secondary state highway system, subject to the provisions and requirements set forth in §§ 33.2-335 and 33.2-336, if the owner of the fee interest in such private road obtains the written consent of every lot owner in the subdivision whose lot is served by the private road and the holder of any restrictive covenant or easement rights over and concerning the private road prior to making such dedication and before requirements for acceptance of the road into the secondary state highway system are met. Such consent shall be recorded in the land records of the clerk's office of the circuit court of the county in which the private road is located.

2015, c. 495, § 55-50.4; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-309. (Effective October 1, 2019) Deeds good between parties.

Any deed, or a part of a deed, that fails to take effect by virtue of this chapter shall, nevertheless, be as valid and effectual and as binding upon the parties, so far as the rules of law and equity permit, as if this chapter had not been enacted.

Code 1919, § 5169; Code 1950, § 55-51; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-310. (Effective October 1, 2019) Conveyance of property not owned but subsequently acquired.

When a deed purports to convey property, real or personal, describing it with reasonable certainty, that the grantor does not own at the time of the execution of the deed, but subsequently acquires, such deed shall, as between the parties, have the same effect as if the title that the grantor subsequently acquires were vested in him at the time of the execution of such deed and thereby conveyed.

Code 1919, § 5202; Code 1950, § 55-52; 1958, c. 424; 1990, c. 831; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-311. (Effective October 1, 2019) Vendor's equitable lien abolished.

If any person conveys any real estate and the purchase money or any part thereof remains unpaid at the time of the conveyance, he shall not thereby have a lien for such unpaid purchase money, unless such lien is expressly reserved on the face of the conveyance.

Code 1919, § 5183; Code 1950, § 55-53; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-312. (Effective October 1, 2019) Certain deeds to county real estate validated.

All deeds executed prior to January 1, 1920, by a county commissioner, county commissioners, or a board of supervisors that convey any part of the real estate previously acquired by such county for county purposes are hereby validated and declared to have effectually passed the title to the part so conveyed even though the conveyance thereof reduced the real estate of the county to an area less than the county was required by law to own at the time of such conveyance.

1934, p. 228; Michie Code 1942, § 5183a; Code 1950, § 55-54; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-313. (Effective October 1, 2019) Validation of sales, etc., by county courts prior to 1860.

All sales or leases made prior to the year 1860 by the county court, or court of monthly session, of any county of any land or building then owned by such county and situated within the limits of land previously acquired by such county as a site for its courthouse and other public buildings, when the consideration therefor has been fully paid and the purchaser, or lessee as the case may be, and those claiming through or under him, shall have held continuous possession of such land or building from January 1, 1860, until January 1, 1934, are hereby validated and declared to be forever binding upon such county.

1934, p. 311; Michie Code 1942, § 5183b; Code 1950, § 55-55; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-314. (Effective October 1, 2019) Deeds and writings executed for persons in military service, etc., under defective powers.

All deeds or other writings executed by an agent or attorney-in-fact for a person in the armed forces or military service of the United States, or for a person who after executing a power of attorney or agency agreement entered the armed forces or military service of the United States, or for a person who departed from the United States by permission or direction of any department or official of the United States in connection with work relating to the prosecution of the war, when the power of attorney or agency agreement under which the deed or other instrument was signed was not executed in such a manner as to be valid as a sealed instrument, shall be held, and the same are hereby declared, valid and effective in all respects if otherwise valid according to the law then in force.

The provisions of this section shall not operate to affect adversely intervening vested rights.

1946, p. 190; Michie Suppl. 1946, § 5145a; Code 1950, § 55-56; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-315. (Effective October 1, 2019) Effect of option; recording.

A. Any option to purchase real estate, and any memorandum, renewal, or extension of such option, shall be void as to (i) all purchasers for valuable consideration without notice who are not parties to such instrument and (ii) lien creditors, until such instrument is recorded in the county or city in which the property embraced in the option, memorandum, renewal, or extension is located.

B. Notwithstanding any rule of law or equity denominated "fettering," "clogging the equity of redemption" or "claiming a collateral advantage" or any similar rule:

1. A party secured by a mortgage or deed of trust, without adversely affecting his security interest, may acquire from a borrower any direct or indirect present or future ownership interest in the collateral encumbered thereby, including rights to any income, proceeds, or increase in value derived from such collateral; and

2. An option to acquire an interest in real estate granted to a party secured by a mortgage or deed of trust, other than an option granted to such party in connection with a mortgage loan as defined in § 6.2-1600, is effective according to its terms and takes priority as provided in subsection A if the right to exercise the option is not dependent upon the occurrence of a default under the mortgage or deed of trust.

1989, c. 596, § 55-57.2; 2019, c. 712.

Article 2. Form and Effect of Deeds of Trust; Sales thereunder; Assignments; Releases

§ 55.1-316. (Effective October 1, 2019) Form of deed of trust to secure debts, etc.

A deed of trust to secure debts or indemnify sureties may be in the following form, or to the same effect: "This deed, made the ________, in the year ____, between ________ (the grantor) and ________ (the trustee), witnesseth: that the said ________ (the grantor) does (or do) grant (or grant and convey) unto the said ________ (the trustee), the following property (here describe it): In trust to secure (here describe the debts to be secured or the sureties to be indemnified and insert covenants or any other provisions the parties may agree upon). Witness the following signature (or signatures)."

Code 1919, § 5166; Code 1950, § 55-58; 1990, c. 374; 2014, c. 338; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-317. (Effective October 1, 2019) Requirements for trustees.

A. No person may be named or act, in person or by agent or attorney, as the trustee of a deed of trust conveying property to secure the payment of money or the performance of an obligation, either individually or as one of several trustees, unless such person is a resident of the Commonwealth. No corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or other entity may be named or act as the trustee or as one of the trustees of a deed of trust conveying property to secure the payment of money or the performance of an obligation, unless it is organized under the laws of the Commonwealth or of the United States. However, the foregoing requirements shall not apply to any deed of trust conveying property lying partly in the Commonwealth and partly outside the Commonwealth or to a deed of trust conveying property in the Commonwealth to secure bonds or obligations that are also secured by one or more deeds of trust or mortgages conveying property outside of the Commonwealth.

B. A deed of trust conveying property to secure the payment of money or the performance of an obligation shall state the full residence or business address of the trustee named in such deed of trust, including street address and zip code, and such address shall be valid for purposes of all notices under the deed of trust to the trustee. Such address of the trustee may be changed by amendment of the deed of trust or by a separate instrument executed by the trustee, or by the beneficiary of such deed of trust, stating the changed address and otherwise in recordable form, and recorded in the office of the clerk of the circuit court where the deed of trust was recorded.

C. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, if any deed of trust is recorded by a clerk, it shall be conclusively presumed that such deed of trust complies with all the requirements of this section, and it shall be deemed to be validly recorded.

D. All deeds of trusts, mortgages, bonds, or other instruments recorded by a clerk prior to January 1, 1999, without the residence or business address of the trustee named in such deed of trust shall be valid for all purposes as if such address had been named if such recordation is otherwise valid according to the law then in force, provided that this section shall not affect any right or remedy of any third party that accrued after the recordation of such instrument or before July 1, 1960.

1960, c. 565, § 55-58.1; 1962, c. 156; 1966, c. 398; 1974, c. 424; 1998, c. 202; 2014, c. 338; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-318. (Effective October 1, 2019) Credit line deed of trust defined; relative priority of credit line deed of trust and other instruments of judgment.

A. For the purpose of this section:

"Beneficiary" means the noteholder, lender, or other party or parties identified in the credit line deed of trust as secured thereby. In the case of a credit line deed of trust that identifies a party acting as agent for all of the lenders or parties secured by a credit line deed of trust, such agent shall be the beneficiary for purposes of this section.

"Credit line deed of trust" means any deed of trust, mortgage, bond, or other instrument entered into after July 1, 1982, in which title to real property located in the Commonwealth is conveyed, transferred, encumbered, or pledged to secure payment of money, including advances or other extensions of credit to be made in the future.

B. A credit line deed of trust shall set forth on the front page, either in capital letters or in language underscored, the words "THIS IS A CREDIT LINE DEED OF TRUST." Such phrase shall convey notice to all parties that advances or other extensions of credit are to be made or are contemplated to be made from time to time against the security described in the credit line deed of trust. Such credit line deed of trust shall specify the maximum aggregate amount of principal to be secured at any one time.

C. From the date and actual time of the recording of a credit line deed of trust, the lien shall have priority (i) as to all other deeds, conveyances, or other instruments, or contracts in writing, that are unrecorded as of such date and time of recording and of which the beneficiary has no knowledge or notice and (ii) as to judgment liens subsequently docketed, except as provided in subsection D. Such priority shall extend to any advances or other extensions of credit made following the recordation of the credit line deed of trust. Amounts outstanding, together with interest, and other items provided by § 55.1-320, shall continue to have priority until paid or curtailed. Mechanics' liens created under Title 43 shall continue to enjoy the same priority as created by that title. Purchase money security interests in goods and fixtures shall have the same priority as provided in Subpart 3 (§ 8.9A-317 et seq.) of Part 3 of Title 8.9A.

D. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections A, B, and C, if a judgment creditor gives written notice to the beneficiary of record at the address indicated in the credit line deed of trust, such credit line deed of trust shall have no priority as to such judgment for any advances or extensions of credit made under such credit line deed of trust from the day following receipt of that notice except those that have been unconditionally and irrevocably committed prior to such date.

E. In addition to the language specified in subsection B, the credit line deed of trust shall set forth the name of the beneficiary and the address at which communications may be mailed or delivered to the beneficiary. Such name or address may be changed or modified by duly recorded instrument executed by the beneficiary only. If the note or indebtedness secured by the credit line deed of trust is assigned or transferred, the name and address of the new beneficiary may be set forth in the certificate of transfer provided by § 55.1-336. Such original name or address, or if changed, such changed name or address, shall be the address for delivery of notices contemplated by this section. Receipt of notice at such address shall be deemed receipt by the beneficiary.

F. The grantor may require at any time a modification under the credit line deed of trust whereby any priority over subsequently recorded deeds of trust is surrendered as to future advances or other extensions of credit, which advances or extensions of credit are in the discretion of the party secured by the credit line deed of trust.

G. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections A, B, and C, if a deed of trust under this section is a subordinate mortgage, as defined in subsection A of § 55.1-319, upon the recording of a refinance mortgage, as defined in subsection A of § 55.1-319, the credit line deed of trust shall retain the same subordinate position with respect to the refinance mortgage as it had with the prior mortgage, as defined in subsection A of § 55.1-319, provided that the refinance mortgage complies with the requirements of § 55.1-319.

1982, c. 230, § 55-58.2; 1983, c. 124; 1984, c. 19; 1989, c. 346; 1997, c. 205; 2000, c. 971; 2014, c. 338; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-319. (Effective October 1, 2019) Priority of residential refinance mortgage over subordinate mortgage.

A. As used in this section:

"Prior mortgage" means a mortgage, deed of trust, or other instrument encumbering or conveying an interest in residential real estate containing not more than one dwelling unit to secure a financing.

"Refinance mortgage" means a mortgage, deed of trust, or other instrument encumbering or conveying an interest in residential real estate containing not more than one dwelling unit to secure a refinancing.

"Refinancing" means the replacement of a loan secured by a prior mortgage with a new loan secured by a refinance mortgage and the payment in full of the debt owed under the original loan secured by the prior mortgage.

"Subordinate mortgage" means a mortgage or deed of trust securing an original principal amount not exceeding $150,000, encumbering or conveying an interest in residential real estate containing not more than one dwelling unit that is subordinate in priority (i) under subdivision A 1 of § 55.1-407 or (ii) as a result of a previous refinancing.

B. Upon the refinancing of a prior mortgage, a subordinate mortgage shall retain the same subordinate position with respect to a refinance mortgage as the subordinate mortgage had with the prior mortgage, provided that:

1. Such refinance mortgage states on the first page thereof in bold or capitalized letters: "THIS IS A REFINANCE OF A (DEED OF TRUST, MORTGAGE OR OTHER SECURITY INTEREST) RECORDED IN THE CLERK'S OFFICE, CIRCUIT COURT OF (NAME OF COUNTY OR CITY), VIRGINIA, IN DEED BOOK ______, PAGE ______, IN THE ORIGINAL PRINCIPAL AMOUNT OF ______, AND WITH THE OUTSTANDING PRINCIPAL BALANCE WHICH IS ______.";

2. The principal amount secured by such refinance mortgage does not exceed the outstanding principal balance secured by the prior mortgage plus $5,000; and

3. The interest rate is stated in the refinance mortgage at the time it is recorded and does not exceed the interest rate set forth in the prior mortgage.

C. The priorities among two or more subordinate mortgages shall be governed by subdivision A 1 of § 55.1-407.

D. The provisions of subsection B shall not apply to a subordinate mortgage securing a promissory note payable to any locality or any agency, authority, or political subdivision of the Commonwealth if such subordinate mortgage is financed pursuant to an affordable dwelling unit ordinance adopted pursuant to § 15.2-2304 or 15.2-2305, or pursuant to any program authorized by federal or state law or local ordinance or resolution, for (i) low-income and moderate-income persons or households or (ii) improvements to residential potable water supplies and sanitary sewage disposal systems made to address an existing or potential public health hazard, and which mortgage, if recorded on or after July 1, 2003, states on the first page thereof in bold or capitalized letters: "THIS (DEED OF TRUST, MORTGAGE OR OTHER SECURITY INTEREST) SHALL NOT, WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE SECURED PARTY HEREUNDER, BE SUBORDINATED UPON THE REFINANCING OF ANY PRIOR MORTGAGE."

2000, c. 971, § 55-58.3; 2002, c. 172; 2003, c. 381; 2011, c. 77; 2014, c. 338; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-320. (Effective October 1, 2019) How deed of trust construed; duties, rights, etc., of parties.

Every deed of trust to secure debts or indemnify sureties is in the nature of a contract and shall be construed according to its terms to the extent not in conflict with the requirements of law. Unless the deed of trust provides otherwise, it shall be construed to impose and confer upon the parties and beneficiaries the following duties, rights, and obligations in like manner as if the same were expressly provided for by such deed of trust:

1. The deed shall be construed as given to secure the performance of each of the covenants entered into by the grantor as well as the payment of the primary obligation.

2. The grantor shall be deemed to covenant that he will pay all taxes, levies, assessments, and charges upon the property, including the fees and charges of such agents or attorneys as the trustee may deem advisable to employ at any time for the purpose of the trust, so long as any obligation upon the grantor under the deed of trust remains undischarged.

3. The grantor shall be deemed to covenant that he will keep the improvements on the property in tenantable condition, whether such improvements were on the property when the deed of trust was given or were placed there at a later time.

4. The grantor shall be deemed to covenant that no waste shall be committed or suffered upon the property.

5. The grantor shall be deemed to covenant that in the event of his failure to meet any obligations imposed upon him, then the trustee or any beneficiary may, at his option, satisfy such obligations. The money so advanced, with interest as provided in the deed of trust, shall be a part of the debt secured by the deed of trust, in the event of sale to be paid next after the expenses of executing the trust, and shall be otherwise recoverable from the grantor as a debt. In addition, to the extent not otherwise covered, the grantor shall be deemed to covenant that amount advanced or incurred by the trustee or any beneficiary under a deed of trust (i) with respect to an obligation secured by a lien or encumbrance prior to the lien of the deed of trust or (ii) for the protection of the lien secured by the deed of trust, together with interest as provided in the deed of trust, shall be a part of the debt secured by the deed of trust, to be paid next after expenses of executing the trust.

6. A covenant to pay interest shall be deemed a covenant to pay interest on the principal balance as such rate may vary or be modified from time to time by the parties under the original instruments or agreements or a written agreement of modification, whether or not recorded, and all the interest on the principal secured by the deed of trust shall be on an equal priority with the principal debt secured by the deed of trust, in the event of sale to be paid next after the expenses of executing the trust.

Any covenant, otherwise authorized by law, that the lender shall be entitled to share in the gross income or the net income, or the gross rent or revenues, or net rents or revenues of the property, or in any portion of the proceeds or appreciation upon sale or appraisal or similar event, shall be on an equal priority with the principal debt secured by the deed of trust, in the event of sale to be paid next after the expenses of executing the trust, and shall be specified in the recorded deed of trust or other recorded document in order to be notice of record as against subsequent parties.

7. In the event of default in the payment of the debt secured, or any part thereof, at maturity, or in the payment of interest when due, or of the breach of any of the covenants entered into or imposed upon the grantor, then at the request of any beneficiary the trustee shall forthwith declare all the debts and obligations secured by the deed of trust at once due and payable and may take possession of the property and proceed to sell the same at auction at the premises or in the front of the circuit court building or at such other place in the county or city in which the property or the greater part thereof lies, or in the corporate limits of any city surrounded by or contiguous to such county, or in the case of annexed land, in the county of which the land was formerly a part, as the trustee may select upon such terms and conditions as the trustee may deem best.

8. If the sale is upon credit terms, the deferred purchase money shall bear interest from the day of sale and shall be secured by a deed of trust upon the property contemporaneous with the trustee's deed to the purchaser.

9. The party secured by the deed of trust, or the holders of greater than 50 percent of the monetary obligations secured thereby, shall have the right and power to appoint one or more substitute trustees for any reason and, regardless of whether such right and power is expressly granted in such deed of trust, by executing and acknowledging an instrument designating and appointing a substitute. When the instrument of appointment has been executed, the substitute trustee named therein shall be vested with all the powers, rights, authority, and duties vested in the trustee in the original deed of trust. The instrument of appointment shall be recorded in the office of the clerk in which the original deed of trust is recorded prior to or at the time of recordation of any instrument in which a power, right, authority, or duty conferred by the original deed of trust is exercised.

Code 1919, § 5167; 1922, p. 364; 1926, p. 591; 1940, p. 879; 1944, p. 481; Code 1950, § 55-59; 1952, c. 370; 1954, c. 557; 1956, c. 674; 1960, c. 5; 1964, c. 501; 1968, c. 786; 1970, c. 12; 1973, c. 341; 1976, c. 257; 1977, cc. 151, 314, 660; 1979, c. 12; 1980, c. 709; 1981, c. 591; 1992, cc. 87, 193; 1993, c. 426; 1994, c. 551; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-321. (Effective October 1, 2019) Notices required before sale by trustee to owners, lienors, etc.; if note lost.

A. In addition to the advertisement required by § 55.1-322, the trustee or the party secured shall give written notice of the time, date, and place of any proposed sale in execution of a deed of trust, and such notice shall include either (i) the instrument number or deed book and page numbers of the instrument of appointment filed pursuant to § 55.1-320, or (ii) a copy of the executed and notarized appointment of substitute trustee by personal delivery or by mail to (a) the present owner of the property to be sold at his last known address as such owner and address appear in the records of the party secured; (b) any subordinate lienholder who holds a note against the property secured by a deed of trust recorded at least 30 days prior to the proposed sale and whose address is recorded with the deed of trust; (c) any assignee of such a note secured by a deed of trust, provided that the assignment and address of assignee are likewise recorded at least 30 days prior to the proposed sale; (d) any condominium unit owners' association that has filed a lien pursuant to § 55.1-1966; (e) any property owners' association that has filed a lien pursuant to § 55.1-1833; and (f) any proprietary lessees' association that has filed a lien pursuant to § 55.1-2148. Written notice shall be given pursuant to clauses (d), (e), and (f) only if the lien is recorded at least 30 days prior to the proposed sale. If the secured party has received notification that the owner of the property to be sold is deceased, the notice required by clause (a) shall be given to (1) the last known address of such owner as such address appears in the records of the party secured; (2) any personal representative of the deceased's estate whose appointment is recorded among the records of the circuit court where the property is located, at the address of the personal representative that appears in such records; and (3) any heirs of the deceased who are listed on the list of heirs recorded among the records of the circuit court where the property is located, at the addresses of the heirs that appear in such records. Mailing of a copy of the advertisement or a notice containing the same information to the owner by certified or registered mail no less than 14 days prior to such sale and to lienholders, the property owners' association or proprietary lessees' association, their assigns, and the condominium unit owners' association, at the address noted in the memorandum of lien, by ordinary mail no less than 14 days prior to such sale shall be a sufficient compliance with the requirement of notice. The written notice of proposed sale when given as provided in this subsection shall be deemed an effective exercise of any right of acceleration contained in such deed of trust or otherwise possessed by the party secured relative to the indebtedness secured. The inadvertent failure to give notice as required by this subsection shall not impose liability on either the trustee or the secured party.

B. If a note or other evidence of indebtedness secured by a deed of trust is lost or for any reason cannot be produced and the beneficiary submits to the trustee an affidavit to that effect, the trustee may nonetheless proceed to sale, provided that the beneficiary has given written notice to the person required to pay the instrument that the instrument is unavailable and a request for sale will be made of the trustee upon expiration of 14 days from the date of mailing of the notice. The notice shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the person required to pay the instrument as reflected in the records of the beneficiary and shall include the name and mailing address of the trustee. The notice shall further advise the person required to pay the instrument that if he believes he may be subject to a claim by a person other than the beneficiary to enforce the instrument, he may petition the circuit court of the county or city where the property or some part thereof lies for an order requiring the beneficiary to provide adequate protection against any such claim. If deemed appropriate by the court, the court may condition the sale on a finding that the person required to pay the instrument is adequately protected against loss that might occur by reason of a claim by another person to enforce the instrument. Adequate protection may be provided by any reasonable means. If the trustee proceeds to sale, the fact that the instrument is lost or cannot be produced shall not affect the authority of the trustee to sell or the validity of the sale.

C. When the written notice of proposed sale is given as provided in this section, there is a rebuttable presumption that the lienholder has complied with any requirement to provide notice of default contained in a deed of trust. Failure to comply with the requirements of notice contained in this section shall not affect the validity of the sale, and a purchaser for value at such sale shall be under no duty to ascertain whether such notice was validly given.

D. In the event of postponement of sale, which may be done in the discretion of the trustee, no new or additional notice is required to be given pursuant to this section.

1979, c. 12, § 55-59.1; 1992, c. 739; 1993, c. 597; 1994, c. 143; 2004, c. 1001; 2009, c. 307; 2018, cc. 34, 204; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-322. (Effective October 1, 2019) Advertisement required before sale by trustee.

A. Advertisement of sale by a trustee or trustees in execution of a deed of trust shall be in a newspaper having a general circulation in the county or city in which the property to be sold, or any portion of such property, lies pursuant to the following provisions:

1. If the deed of trust itself provides for the number of publications of such newspaper advertisement, which may be done by using the words "advertisement required" or similar words followed by the number agreed upon, then no other or different advertisement shall be necessary, provided that, if such advertisement be inserted on a weekly basis, it shall be published not less than once a week for two weeks, and if such advertisement be inserted on a daily basis, it shall be published not less than once a day for three days, which may be consecutive days, and in either case shall be subject to the provisions of § 55.1-330 in the same manner as if the method were set forth in the deed of trust. Should the deed of trust provide for advertising on other than a weekly or daily basis, either of the foregoing provisions shall be complied with in addition to those provided in such deed of trust. Notwithstanding the provisions of the deed of trust, the sale shall be held on any day following the day of the last advertisement that is no earlier than eight days following the first advertisement or more than 30 days following the last advertisement.

2. If the deed of trust does not provide for the number of publications of such newspaper advertisement, the trustee shall advertise once a week for four successive weeks, provided, however, that if the property or some portion of such property is located in a city or in a county immediately contiguous to a city, publication of the advertisement five different days, which may be consecutive days, shall be deemed adequate. The sale shall be held on any day following the day of the last advertisement that is no earlier than eight days following the first advertisement or more than 30 days following the last advertisement.

B. Such advertisement shall be placed in that section of the newspaper where legal notices appear or where the type of property being sold is generally advertised for sale.

C. In addition to the advertisement required by subsection A, the trustee shall give such other further and different advertisement as the deed of trust may require and in addition may give such additional advertisement as he may deem appropriate.

D. In the event of postponement of sale, which postponement shall be at the discretion of the trustee, advertisement of such postponed sale shall be in the same manner as the original advertisement of sale.

E. Failure to comply with the requirements for advertisement contained in this section shall, upon petition, render a sale of the property voidable by the court.

1979, c. 12, § 55-59.2; 1990, c. 749; 1992, c. 550; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-323. (Effective October 1, 2019) Contents of advertisements of sale.

A. The advertisement of sale under any deed of trust, in addition to such other matters as may be required by such deed of trust or by the trustee, in his discretion, shall set forth a description of the property to be sold. Such description need not be as extensive as that contained in the deed of trust, but it shall identify the property by street address, if any, or, if none, shall give the general location of the property with reference to streets, routes, or known landmarks. Where available, tax map identification may be used but is not required. The advertisement shall also include the time, place, and terms of sale and shall give the name or names of the trustee or trustees. It shall set forth the name, address, and telephone number of a person, either a trustee or the party secured or his agent or attorney who may be able to respond to inquiries concerning the sale.

B. 1. If the property being sold is a time-share estate, the advertisement of sale required under subsection A of § 55.1-322 shall set forth, in addition to such other matters as the trustee finds appropriate, (i) a description of the specific time-share estate or estates to be sold, and such description shall also include (a) the name of the time-share project and (b) the street address of the time-share project or, if no street address, the general location of the time-share project with reference to streets, routes, or known landmarks; (ii) the date, time, place, and terms of sale; (iii) the name of the trustee; and (iv) the name, address, and telephone number of the representative, agent, or attorney who is authorized to respond to inquiries concerning the sale and shall give additional information concerning the time-share estate or estates to be sold.

2. In lieu of the requirements of subdivision 1, the advertisement shall set forth (i) the name of the time-share project in which the time-share estate or estates to be sold are contained; (ii) the street address of the time-share project in which the time-share estate or estates to be sold are contained or, if no street address, the general location of the time-share project with reference to streets, routes, or known landmarks; (iii) the date, time, place, and terms of sale; (iv) the name of the trustee; and (v) the name, address, and telephone number of the representative, agent, or attorney who is authorized to respond to inquiries concerning the sale and shall give additional information concerning the time-share estate or estates to be sold, including providing, upon request, in either hard copy or electronic form, a schedule of the time-share estate or estates to be sold. In addition, the advertisement shall contain a website address where a description of the specific time-share estate or estates to be sold is displayed.

1979, c. 12, § 55-59.3; 2015, cc. 23, 401; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-324. (Effective October 1, 2019) Powers and duties of trustee in event of sale under or satisfaction of deed of trust.

A. In the event of sale under a deed of trust, the trustee shall have the following powers and duties in addition to all others:

1. Written one-price bids may be made and shall be received by the trustee from the beneficiary or any other person for entry by announcement of the trustee at the sale. Any person other than the trustee may bid at the foreclosure sale, including a person who has submitted a written one-price bid. Upon request to the trustee, any other bidder in attendance at a foreclosure sale shall be permitted to inspect written bids. Whenever the written bid of the beneficiary is the highest bid submitted at the sale, such document shall be filed by the trustee with his account of sale required under § 64.2-1309. The written bid submitted pursuant to this subsection may be prepared by the beneficiary, its agent, or its attorney.

2. The trustee may require of any bidder at any sale a cash deposit of as much as 10 percent of the sale price, unless the deed of trust specifies a higher or lower maximum, which may be done by the words "bidder's deposit of not more than ______ dollars may be required" or similar words, before his bid is received, which shall be refunded to the bidder unless the property is sold to him, otherwise to be applied to his credit in settlement or, should he fail to complete his purchase promptly, to be applied to pay the costs and expense of sale and the balance, if any, to be retained by the trustee as his compensation in connection with that sale.

3. The trustee shall receive and receipt for the proceeds of sale, account for the same to the commissioner of accounts pursuant to § 64.2-1309 and apply the same, first, to discharge the expenses of executing the trust, including a reasonable commission to the trustee; secondly, to discharge all taxes, levies, and assessments, with costs and interest if they have priority over the lien of the deed of trust, including the due pro rata thereof for the current year; thirdly, to discharge in the order of their priority, if any, the remaining debts and obligations secured by the deed, and any liens of record inferior to the deed of trust under which sale is made, with lawful interest; and, fourthly, the residue of the proceeds shall be paid to the grantor or his assigns, provided, however, that the trustee as to such residue shall not be bound by any inheritance, devise, conveyance, assignment, or lien of or upon the grantor's equity, without actual notice thereof prior to distribution, and provided further that such order of priorities shall not be changed or varied by the deed of trust. The trustee's deed shall show the trustee's mailing address.

B. Upon discharge, other than by sale by the trustee, of all debts, duties, and obligations imposed by the deed upon the grantor, including any expenses incurred preparatory to sale, then upon the grantor's request the trustee shall execute and deliver a good and sufficient deed of release at the grantor's own proper costs and charges.

1979, c. 12, § 55-59.4; 1997, c. 842; 1998, c. 610; 2010, c. 417; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-325. (Effective October 1, 2019) Meaning of phrases that may be included in deed of trust.

The following provisions may be incorporated in any deed of trust to secure debts or indemnify sureties in the respective short forms indicated, namely:

1. The words "identified by trustee's signature" or similar words shall be construed as if the deed set forth: "All of which said notes (or other obligations) bear the marginal signature of the trustee for the purpose of identification but for no other purpose whatever."

2. The words "deferred purchase money," "purchase money," or similar words shall be construed as if the deed set forth: "This deed of trust is a contemporaneous purchase money deed of trust and secures the payment of deferred purchase money due by the grantor upon the property hereby conveyed." Any deed of trust securing a loan, proceeds of which are used by the borrower to acquire the secured real property, shall be deemed to be a purchase money deed of trust.

3. The words "exemptions waived" or similar words shall be construed as if the deed set forth: "The grantor hereby waives the benefit of his exemptions as to the debt hereby secured and as to all other obligations that may be imposed upon him by the provisions of this deed of trust."

4. The words "subject to call upon default" or similar words shall be construed as if the deed set forth: "Should default be made in the payment of any part of the debt hereby secured, principal or interest, at the maturity of such part, or in the event of the breach of any of the covenants entered into or imposed upon the grantor, then the entire obligation of this deed of trust and the whole debt hereby secured shall, at the option of the beneficiaries, become forthwith due and payable."

5. The words "renewal or extension permitted" or similar words shall be construed as if the deed set forth: "The grantor hereby consents and agrees that the debt hereby secured, or any part thereof, may be renewed or extended beyond maturity as often as may be desired by agreement between the creditor and any subsequent owner of the property, and no such renewal or extension shall in any way affect the grantor's responsibility, whether as surety or otherwise."

6. The words "reinstatement permitted" or similar words shall be construed as if the deed set forth: "The grantor and any other party assuming liability hereunder hereby consent and agree that if the property conveyed hereby or a substantial portion thereof is transferred to any subsequent owner, and the creditor exercises the right to accelerate the debts secured hereby, the creditor may accept any delinquent payments or other cure of default giving rise to such acceleration from the then owner of the property or any other person and reinstate the indebtedness in accordance with the schedule of maturity as of the time of acceleration or upon such new schedule as may be agreed if renewal or extension are otherwise permitted and no such reinstatement shall in any way affect the liability of such prior parties, whether as surety or otherwise."

The words "renewal, extension, or reinstatement permitted" or similar words shall have the meaning ascribed to the individual words or phrases in this subdivision and in subdivision 5.

7. The words "right of anticipation reserved" or similar words shall be construed as if the deed set forth: "The grantor reserves the right to anticipate the payment of the debt hereby secured, or any part thereof which is represented by a separate note (or other obligation) at any interest period by the payment of principal and interest to the date of such anticipated payment only."

8. The words "priority in direct order of maturity" or similar words shall be construed as if the deed set forth: "The notes (or other obligations) hereby secured have priority amongst themselves in the direct order of their maturities, each having priority over all others falling due after its maturity." And the words "priority in inverse order of maturity" or similar words shall be construed as if the deed set forth: "The notes (or other obligations) hereby secured have priority amongst themselves in the inverse order of their maturities, each having priority over all others falling due before its maturity."

9. The words "insurance required ______ dollars" or similar words shall be construed as if the deed set forth: "The grantor covenants that he will keep the improvements on the property insured against fire in some solvent insurance company approved by the trustee for the benefit of the beneficiaries hereunder in the sum of at least ______ dollars, and will deposit with the trustee or beneficiary the policies, with standard loss payable clauses with full contribution in favor of the trustee as his interest may appear; and the grantor further covenants that in the event of his failure to keep the property so insured and the policies so deposited, then the trustee or any beneficiary may, at his option, effect such insurance and pay the premium thereon, and the money so paid, with interest thereon, shall become a part of the debt hereby secured, in the event of sale to be paid next after the expenses of executing this trust, and shall be otherwise recoverable from the grantor as a debt, but there shall be no obligation upon the trustee or beneficiary to effect such insurance."

10. The words "substitution of trustee permitted" or similar words shall be construed as if the deed set forth: "Grantor grants unto the beneficiary or beneficiaries or to a majority in amount of the holders of the obligations secured hereunder and to their assigns the right and power, under the provisions of § 55.1-320, to appoint a substitute trustee or trustees."

11. The words "any trustee may act" or similar words shall be construed as if the deed set forth: "The grantors, and all interested in the obligations hereby secured, by accepting the benefits hereof, agree that all authority, power, and discretion hereinabove granted to the trustees may be exercised by any of them, without any other, with the same effect as if exercised jointly by all of them."

12. The words "this is a credit line deed of trust" or similar words, if in capital letters or underscored and on the first page of the deed of trust and containing the name and address of the noteholder, shall have the meaning set forth in § 55.1-318.

Code 1919, § 5167; 1926, p. 593; 1940, p. 881; Code 1950, § 55-60; 1966, c. 93; 1970, c. 39; 1976, c. 155; 1982, c. 230; 2004, c. 253; 2005, c. 935; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-326. (Effective October 1, 2019) Evidences of indebtedness placed on equal footing.

When bonds, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness are secured by a deed of trust, mortgage, vendor's lien, or other lien, such bonds, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness shall, in the event the lien is executed or foreclosed, be secured on an equal footing and shall be paid ratably out of the proceeds of any sale of property subjected to the lien and shall have no priority, the one over the other, whether by priority of assignment or otherwise, unless the instrument creating the lien expressly provides otherwise.

1934, p. 516; Michie Code 1942, § 6457a; Code 1950, § 55-60.1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-327. (Effective October 1, 2019) Sales under deeds of trust that contain no maturity date or provision authorizing sale.

When any property, real or personal, is conveyed by deed of trust to a trustee to secure the payment of a debt, money, notes, bonds, stocks, or other evidences of debt and there is no date fixed for the maturity thereof and such deed of trust contains no provision authorizing the trustee to make sale of such property, or any part thereof, and the reinvestment of the proceeds of sale in other property subject to the terms of such deed of trust, the circuit court, or such court having jurisdiction of the subject matter, upon a complaint filed by any one or more of the lien debtors, in which complaint all persons interested in such lien and all holders of the evidences of debt secured by the deed of trust thereon, and all other necessary or proper parties, except the plaintiffs, shall be made defendants, may order a sale of such property, or any part thereof, and may invest the proceeds of sale under order of court subject to the terms of the deed of trust, provided that (i) the complaint sets forth facts that will justify the sale of the property, to be verified by the affidavit of at least one of the plaintiffs, (ii) no order shall be made authorizing such sale unless it is shown to the satisfaction of the court that the interests of the lien debtor or debtors will be promoted and the interests of no person holding the evidences of debt secured by the deed of trust will be violated thereby, and (iii) the plaintiff or the party for whose benefit the action is brought shall bear the cost.

1932, p. 77; Michie Code 1942, § 5167a; Code 1950, § 55-61; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-328. (Effective October 1, 2019) Validation of conveyances of real property under trust instrument not authorizing sale.

When any real property is conveyed by deed of trust or other trust instrument to a trustee and there is no provision authorizing the trustee to convey the property that is the subject of the deed of trust, or any part of such property, and the trustee conveys such property or any part of such property, such conveyance shall be valid after a period of 30 years from the date of such conveyance, provided that (i) there have been no adverse claims against the property so conveyed in the interim, and (ii) such conveyances to and from such trustee were properly recorded and indexed at the time of the conveyance, in the appropriate clerk's office in which deeds are recorded in the county or city in which the property lies.

1962, c. 350, § 55-61.1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-329. (Effective October 1, 2019) Permissible form for notice of sale under deed of trust.

Notice of sale under any deed of trust regardless of whether it conforms with § 55.1-320, in the absence of provision in such deed of trust requiring other or additional matter, may be substantially in the following form:

Trustee's Sale of

____________ (brief description or identification of property)

In execution of a deed of trust (name or names of grantor or grantors unless grantor or grantors request in writing that the same be omitted), dated ______, recorded in the Clerk's Office of the ______ court of ______ in Deed Book ______, page ____, ______, the undersigned trustee will offer for sale at public auction (a brief description of the property to include street number or, if none, the general location of property and place of sale) on the ______ day of ________, 20__ at __ (ante meridian)(noon)(post meridian), the property described in such deed.

Terms: (Cash)(________)

____________________

Trustee(s)

FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:

____________________

(A trustee or the secured party or his agent)

____________________

Address

____________________

Telephone number

1946, p. 272; Michie Suppl. 1946, § 5167a1; Code 1950, § 55-62; 1977, c. 660; 1979, c. 12; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-330. (Effective October 1, 2019) Construction of deeds requiring notice by advertisement in newspaper.

A. Whenever any deed of trust to secure debts or indemnify sureties contains a provision requiring the giving of notice of sale thereunder for a specified number of days by advertisement in one or more newspapers and such advertisement is published in a newspaper published daily or in a newspaper published daily except Sunday, it shall be deemed a sufficient compliance with such provision if such notice is published in consecutive issues of such newspaper for the number of days specified, counting both the day of the first publication and the day of the last publication and intervening Sundays, whether or not such newspaper is published on Sunday. Both the first publication and the last publication may be on Sunday. The publication shall in all other respects comply with the provisions of §§ 55.1-322 and 55.1-323.

B. Whenever such deed of trust requires advertisement once a week for a specified number of weeks, sale may be had on the day after the last advertisement appears or any day thereafter, and all sales made in conformity with this section prior to January 1, 1972, and otherwise valid are hereby validated.

1934, p. 165; Michie Code 1942, § 5167c; Code 1950, § 55-63; 1962, c. 448; 1975, c. 284; 1977, c. 660; 1979, c. 12; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-331. (Effective October 1, 2019) Disposition of surplus from trustee's sale after death of grantor.

Whenever the grantor, or his successor in title, in any deed of trust by which any real property is conveyed in trust to secure debts or indemnify sureties dies prior to a trustee's sale held pursuant to the deed of trust and the deed of trust contains no definite provision for the distribution of any surplus in the event of the death of the grantor or his successors in title prior to the trustee's sale held pursuant to the deed of trust, or contains a provision that such surplus shall be paid to the grantor or his heirs or assigns or personal representative, then any surplus of the proceeds of the sale remaining in the possession of the trustee, after discharging the expenses of executing the trust, all tax liens upon the property sold, all debts and obligations secured by the deed of trust, and, in order of their priority, if any, the remaining subsequent debts and obligations secured by the deed, and any liens of record inferior to the deed of trust under which the sale is made, with lawful interest, shall be paid by the trustee to the personal representative of the decedent.

Any such funds possessed by the personal representative shall constitute assets for the payment by him of any debts and demands against the decedent's estate remaining unsatisfied after the personal estate has been exhausted. Any surplus of the funds so paid to the personal representative and remaining in his possession after the satisfaction of all debts and demands against the estate shall be paid over by him, if the decedent died intestate as to the real property embraced in the deed of trust, to the heirs at law of the decedent, or their successors in title, and if the decedent died testate as to the real property embraced in the deed of trust, then such surplus shall be paid to the persons entitled to the real property under the terms of the decedent's will, or to their successors in title.

1942, p. 94; Michie Code 1942, § 5167d; 1944, p. 389; Code 1950, § 55-64; 1990, c. 831; 2018, cc. 34, 204; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-332. (Effective October 1, 2019) Title to real estate sold not affected by nonlisting of secured notes for taxation.

The title to real estate sold under a deed of trust shall not be drawn in question upon the ground that the holder of the notes secured by such deed of trust did not list the same for taxation.

1924, p. 469; 1926, p. 978; 1944, p. 630; Tax Code, §§ 69, 69a; Code 1950, § 55-64.1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-333. (Effective October 1, 2019) Validation of certain sales made under deeds of trust.

All sales that have been made prior to January 1, 1972, under deeds of trust to secure debts and indemnify sureties containing a provision requiring the giving of notice of sale thereunder for a specified number of days by advertisement in one or more newspapers and that were made after publishing the advertisement of sale in a newspaper published daily or in a newspaper published daily except Sunday for the number of days specified in the deed of trust, counting both the day of the first publication and the day of the last publication and intervening Sundays, whether or not such paper was published on Sunday and whether or not such sales were held on the day of the last publication, provided that, in cases when the sale was held on the day of the last publication, the publication was in a newspaper the principal daily edition of which was delivered or publicly sold before the time fixed for the sale, and whether or not the first publication or the last publication, or both, appeared on Sunday, shall be held, and the same are hereby declared, to be valid and effective in all respects, if otherwise valid and effective according to the law then in force, provided, however, that nothing contained in this section shall be construed as affecting any final order entered prior to March 24, 1934, by any court of competent jurisdiction or as affecting any action now pending in any court of competent jurisdiction, and provided further, that nothing in this section shall be so construed as to affect intervening vested rights.

1934, p. 257; Michie Code 1942, § 5167b; Code 1950, § 55-65; 1975, c. 284; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-334. (Effective October 1, 2019) Validation of certain sales made under deeds of trust prior to October 1, 1977.

All sales that were made prior to October 1, 1977, under deeds of trust to secure debts and indemnify sureties when the notice, advertisement, and conduct of the sale were in accordance with the law of the Commonwealth as it existed on June 30, 1977, are declared to be valid and effective in all respects, provided that nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting any final order entered prior to March 23, 1978, by any court of competent jurisdiction, or any action now pending in a court of competent jurisdiction, or as affecting intervening vested rights, and provided further that no action to vacate or set aside any such sale may be brought after March 23, 1978.

1978, c. 173, § 55-65.1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-335. (Effective October 1, 2019) Validation of other sales under deeds of trust.

All sales that were made prior to January 1, 1972, under deeds of trust to secure debts and indemnify sureties when the notice was not published once a week for four successive weeks or a specified number of successive weeks are declared to be valid and effective in all respects, if other reasonable advertisement of such sale was given and such sale was otherwise valid and effective, provided that nothing herein contained shall be construed as affecting any final order entered prior to March 1, 1944, by any court of competent jurisdiction, or any action now pending in a court of competent jurisdiction, or as affecting intervening vested rights, and provided further that no action may be brought after January 1, 1972, to vacate or set aside any such sale.

1944, p. 128; Michie Suppl. 1946, § 5167b1; Code 1950, § 55-66; 1975, c. 284; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-336. (Effective October 1, 2019) Protection of assignees or transferees of debts secured by real estate; form of certificate of transfer.

Whenever a debt or other obligation secured by a deed of trust, mortgage, or vendor's lien on real estate has been assigned, the assignor or the assignee, at its option, may cause the instrument of assignment to be recorded in the clerk's office of the circuit court where such deed of trust, mortgage, or vendor's lien is recorded, provided that such instrument is otherwise in recordable form, or may cause a certificate of transfer signed by the assignor to be recorded in such clerk's office, and such instrument of assignment or certificate of transfer, upon recordation, shall operate as a notice of such assignment. The instrument of assignment or certificate of transfer shall be indexed in the name of the assignor and in the names of the obligor or maker, and the trustees, as applicable, all of whose names shall be set forth in such instrument or certificate. The certificate of transfer shall conform substantially to the following:

CERTIFICATE OF TRANSFER

Place of Record:

Clerk's Office of the Circuit Court of the ________ of ________, Virginia

Date of [Deed of Trust/Mortgage/Vendor's Lien]: ________,

Deed Book ________, Page ____

Name of Obligor or Maker:

________________

Names(s) of Trustee(s) [if a Deed of Trust]:

________________

________________

Name of Original Payee or Obligee:

________________

Original Amount Secured [if applicable]: $____

The undersigned, the original payee or obligee [or the subsequent assignee] of the obligation secured by the above-mentioned [Deed of Trust/Mortgage/Vendor's Lien], hereby certifies that the obligations secured thereby have been assigned to ______

________________

[If a credit line deed of trust, the name and address to which notice may be mailed or delivered to the Noteholder as provided by § 55.1-318 is as follows:

________________

________________ ]

Given under (my/our) hand(s) as of the ______ day of ________, ____.

________________

(Assignor)

______ of ______

County/City of ________, to wit:

Subscribed, sworn to, and acknowledged before me by ________ this ______ day of ________, 20__.

My Commission Expires: ________

________________

Notary Public

Notary Registration Number: ________

For purposes of this section, the word "assigned" includes endorsed, pledged, hypothecated, or otherwise transferred. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to invalidate any other form or notice of assignment that may have been recorded prior to July 1, 1994. Nothing in this section shall imply that recordation of the instrument of assignment or a certificate of transfer is necessary in order to transfer to an assignee the benefit of the security provided by the deed of trust, mortgage, or vendor's lien.

1994, c. 806, § 55-66.01; 1995, c. 807; 1997, c. 205; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-337. (Effective October 1, 2019) Required notice of foreclosure or repossession of manufactured home.

Whenever any assignee of an installment note secured by a security interest on a manufactured home determines that legal action is desirable to enforce the debt resulting in a potential foreclosure or repossession, he shall give prior notice by mail of any action to foreclose or repossess the collateral to any assignor who is liable under a recourse endorsement or by virtue of a reserve account at least 10 business days prior to the enforcement of the security interest or eviction. Assignment by way of pledge of the security interest granted by the assignor shall not be an assignment within the meaning of this section. The failure to so notify the assignor shall not affect any rights of the assignee as against the principal debtor or any party other than the assignor with recourse or a person with rights in a reserve account. Provisions of this section may not be waived by such assignor at the time of the original sale of the installment paper but only after the expiration of at least 30 days from such initial transfer. The assignee shall send such notice to the last known address of the assignor as it appears in the records of the assignee.

1978, c. 462, § 55-66.1:1; 1999, c. 77; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-338. (Effective October 1, 2019) Release to person dead inures to successors.

A release of a deed of trust or a conveyance of the property embraced in such deed of trust may in all cases be made to the original grantor, whether living or dead, and any release or reconveyance so made shall inure both in law and in equity to the successors in title of such grantor.

Code 1919, § 6456; 1926, p. 82; 1930, p. 71; 1932, p. 121; 1944, p. 199; Code 1950, § 55-66.2; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-339. (Effective October 1, 2019) Release of deed of trust or other lien.

A. As used in this section:

"Deed of trust" means any mortgage, deed of trust, or vendor's lien.

"Lien creditor" and "creditor" shall be construed as synonymous and mean the holder, payee, or obligee of a note, bond, or other evidence of debt and shall embrace the lien creditor or his successor in interest as evidenced by proper endorsement or assignment, general or restrictive, upon the note, bond, or other evidence of debt.

"Payoff letter" means a written communication from the lien creditor or servicer stating, at a minimum, the amount outstanding and required to be paid to satisfy the obligation.

"RESA" means Chapter 10 (§ 55.1-1000 et seq.), Real Estate Settlement Agents.

"Satisfactory evidence of the payment of the obligation secured by the deed of trust" means (i) any one of (a) the original canceled check or a copy of the canceled check, showing all endorsements, payable to the lien creditor or servicer, as applicable, (b) confirmation in written or electronic form of a wire transfer to the bank account of the lien creditor or servicer, as applicable, or (c) a bank statement in written or electronic form reflecting completion of the wire transfer or negotiation of the check, as applicable, and (ii) a payoff letter or other reasonable documentary evidence that the payment was to effect satisfaction of the obligation secured or evidenced by the deed of trust.

"Satisfied by payment" includes obtaining written confirmation from the lien creditor that the underlying obligation has a zero balance.

"Servicer" means a person or entity that collects loan payments on behalf of a lien creditor.

"Settlement agent" has the same meaning ascribed to it in § 55.1-1000, provided that a person shall not be a settlement agent unless he is registered pursuant to § 55.1-1014 and otherwise fully in compliance with the applicable provisions of RESA.

"Title insurance company" has the same meaning ascribed to it in § 38.2-4601, provided that the title insurance company seeking to release a lien by the process described in subsection E issued a policy of title insurance, through a title insurance agency or agent as defined in § 38.2-4601.1, for a real estate transaction wherein the loan secured by the lien was satisfied by payment made by the title insurance agency or agent also acting as the settlement agent.

B. 1. Except as provided in Article 3 (§ 55.1-346 et seq.), after full or partial payment or satisfaction has been made of a debt secured by a deed of trust, vendor's lien, or other lien, or any one or more obligations representing at least 25 percent of the total amount secured by such lien, but less than the total number of the obligations so secured, or the debt secured is evidenced by two or more separate written obligations sufficiently described in the instrument creating the lien, has been fully paid, the lien creditor shall issue a certificate of satisfaction or certificate of partial satisfaction in a form sufficient for recordation reflecting such payment and release of lien. This requirement shall apply to a credit line deed of trust prepared pursuant to § 55.1-318 only when the obligor or the settlement agent has paid the debt in full and requested that the instrument be released.

If the lien creditor receives notice from a settlement agent at the address identified in its payoff statement requesting that the certificate be sent to such settlement agent, the lien creditor shall provide the certificate within 90 days after receipt of such notice to the settlement agent at the address specified in the notice received from the settlement agent.

If the notice is not received from a settlement agent, the lien creditor shall deliver, within 90 days after such payment, the certificate to the appropriate clerk's office with the necessary fee for recording by certified mail, return receipt requested, or when there is written proof of receipt from the clerk's office, by hand delivery, electronic delivery via the clerk's electronic filing system, or delivery by a commercial overnight delivery service or the United States Postal Service, and a receipt obtained.

If the lien creditor has already delivered the certificate to the clerk's office by the time it receives notice from the settlement agent, the lien creditor shall deliver a copy of the certificate to the settlement agent within 90 days of the receipt of the notice at the address for notification set forth in the payoff statement.

If the lien creditor has not, within 90 days after payment, either provided the certificate of satisfaction to the settlement agent or delivered it to the clerk's office with the necessary fee for filing, the lien creditor shall forfeit $500 to the lien obligor. No settlement agent or attorney may take an assignment of the right to the $500 penalty or facilitate such an assignment to any third party designated by the settlement agent or attorney. Following the 90-day period, if the amount forfeited is not paid within 10 business days after written demand for payment is sent to the lien creditor by certified mail at the address for notification set forth in the payoff statement, the lien creditor shall pay any court costs and reasonable attorney fees incurred by the obligor in collecting the forfeiture.

2. If the note, bond, or other evidence of debt secured by such deed of trust, vendor's lien, or other lien referred to in subdivision 1 or any interest therein has been assigned or transferred to a party other than the original lien creditor, the subsequent holder shall be subject to the same requirements as a lien creditor for failure to comply with this subsection, as set forth in subdivision 1.

C. The certificate of satisfaction shall be signed by the creditor or his duly authorized agent, attorney, or attorney-in-fact or any person to whom the instrument evidencing the indebtedness has been endorsed or assigned for the purpose of effecting such release. An affidavit shall be filed or recorded with the certificate of satisfaction by the creditor, or his duly authorized agent, attorney, or attorney-in-fact, with such clerk, stating that the debt therein secured and intended to be released or discharged has been paid to such creditor or his agent, attorney, or attorney-in-fact, who was entitled and authorized to receive such debt when the debt was satisfied.

D. When the certificate of satisfaction has been signed and the affidavit required by subsection C has been duly filed or recorded with the certificate of satisfaction with such clerk, the certificate of satisfaction shall operate as a release of the encumbrance as to which such payment or satisfaction is entered and, if the encumbrance is by deed of trust, as a reconveyance of the legal title as fully and effectually as if such certificate of satisfaction were a formal deed of release duly executed and recorded.

E. Release of lien by settlement agent or title insurance company.

A settlement agent or title insurance company may release a deed of trust in accordance with the provisions of this subsection (i) if the obligation secured by the deed of trust has been satisfied by payment made by the settlement agent and (ii) whether or not the settlement agent or title insurance company is named as a trustee under the deed of trust or otherwise has received the authority to release the lien.

1. Notice to lienholder.

a. After or accompanying payment in full of the obligation secured by a deed of trust, a settlement agent or title insurance company intending to release a deed of trust pursuant to this subsection shall deliver to the lien creditor by certified mail or commercial overnight delivery service or the United States Postal Service, and a receipt obtained, a notice of intent to release the deed of trust with a copy of the payoff letter and a copy of the release to be recorded as provided in this subsection.

b. The notice of intent to release shall contain (i) the name of the lien creditor, the name of the servicer if loan payments on the deed of trust are collected by a servicer, or both names; (ii) the name of the settlement agent; (iii) the name of the title insurance company if the title insurance company intends to release the lien; and (iv) the date of the notice. The notice of intent to release shall conform substantially to the following form:

NOTICE OF INTENT TO RELEASE

Notice is hereby given to you concerning the deed of trust described on the certificate of satisfaction, a copy of which is attached to this notice, as follows:

1. The settlement agent identified below has paid the obligation secured by the deed of trust described herein or obtained written confirmation from you that such obligation has a zero balance.

2. The undersigned will release the deed of trust described in this notice unless, within 90 days from the date this notice is mailed by certified mail or commercial overnight delivery service or the United States Postal Service, and a receipt obtained, the undersigned has received by certified mail or commercial overnight delivery service or the United States Postal Service, and a receipt obtained, a notice stating that a release of the deed of trust has been recorded in the clerk's office or that the obligation secured by the deed of trust described herein has not been paid, or the lien creditor or servicer otherwise objects to the release of the deed of trust. Notice shall be sent to the address stated on this form.

(Name of settlement agent)

(Signature of settlement agent or title insurance company)

(Address of settlement agent or title insurance company)

(Telephone number of settlement agent or title insurance company)

(Virginia RESA registration number of settlement agent at the time the obligation was paid or confirmed to have a zero balance)

2. Certificate of satisfaction and affidavit of settlement agent or title insurance company.

a. If, within 90 days following the day on which the settlement agent or title insurance company mailed or delivered the notice of intent to release in accordance with this subsection, the lien creditor or servicer does not send by certified mail or commercial overnight delivery service or the United States Postal Service, and a receipt obtained, to the settlement agent or title insurance company a notice stating that a release of the deed of trust has been recorded in the clerk's office or that the obligation secured by the deed of trust has not been paid in full or that the lien creditor or servicer otherwise objects to the release of the deed of trust, the settlement agent or title insurance company may execute, acknowledge, and file with the clerk of court of the jurisdiction in which the deed of trust is recorded a certificate of satisfaction, which shall include (i) the affidavit described in subdivision 2 b and (ii) a copy of the notice of intent to release that was sent to the lender, the servicer, or both. The certificate of satisfaction shall include the settlement agent's RESA registration number, issued by the Virginia State Bar or the Virginia State Corporation Commission, that was in effect at the time the settlement agent paid the obligation secured by the deed of trust or obtained written confirmation from the lien creditor that such obligation has a zero balance. The certificate of satisfaction shall note that the individual executing the certificate of satisfaction is doing so pursuant to the authority granted by this subsection. After filing or recording the certificate of satisfaction, the settlement agent or title insurance company shall mail a copy of the certificate of satisfaction to the lien creditor or servicer. The validity of a certificate of satisfaction otherwise satisfying the requirements of this subsection shall not be affected by the inaccuracy of the RESA registration number placed thereon or the failure to mail a copy of the recorded certificate of satisfaction to the lien creditor or servicer and shall nevertheless release the deed of trust described therein as provided in this subsection.

b. The certificate of satisfaction used by the settlement agent or title insurance company shall include an affidavit certifying (i) that the settlement agent has satisfied the obligation secured by the deed of trust described in the certificate, (ii) that the settlement agent or title insurance company possesses satisfactory evidence of payment of the obligation secured by the deed of trust described in the certificate or written confirmation from the lien creditor that such obligation has a zero balance, (iii) that the lien of the deed of trust may be released, (iv) that the person executing the certificate is the settlement agent or the title insurance company or is duly authorized to act on behalf of the settlement agent or title insurance company, and (v) that the notice of intent to release was delivered to the lien creditor or servicer and the settlement agent or title insurance company received evidence of receipt of such notice by the lien creditor or servicer. The affidavit shall be substantially in the following form:

AFFIDAVIT OF SETTLEMENT AGENT OR TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY

The undersigned hereby certifies that, in accordance with the provisions of § 55.1-339 of the Code of Virginia of 1950, as amended and in force on the date hereof (the Code), (a) the undersigned is a settlement agent or title insurance company as defined in subsection A of § 55.1-339 of the Code or a duly authorized officer, director, member, partner, or employee of such settlement agent or title insurance company; (b) the settlement agent has satisfied the obligation secured by the deed of trust; (c) the settlement agent or title insurance company possesses satisfactory evidence of the payment of the obligation secured by the deed of trust described in the certificate recorded herewith or written confirmation from the lien creditor that such obligation has a zero balance; (d) the settlement agent or title insurance company has delivered to the lien creditor or servicer in the manner specified in subdivision E 1 of § 55.1-339 of the Code the notice of intent to release and possesses evidence of receipt of such notice by the lien creditor or servicer; and (e) the lien of the deed of trust is hereby released.

________________

(Authorized signer)

3. Effect of filing.

When filed or recorded with the clerk's office, a certificate of satisfaction that is executed and notarized as provided in this subsection and accompanied by (i) the affidavit described in subdivision 2 b and (ii) a copy of the notice of intent to release that was sent to the lender, lien creditor, or servicer shall operate as a release of the encumbrance described therein and, if the encumbrance is by deed of trust, as a reconveyance of the legal title as fully and effectively as if such certificate of satisfaction were a formal deed of release duly executed and recorded.

4. Effect of wrongful or erroneous certificate; damages.

a. The execution and filing or recording of a wrongful or erroneous certificate of satisfaction by a settlement agent or title insurance agent does not relieve the party obligated to repay the debt, or anyone succeeding to or assuming the responsibility of the obligated party as to the debt, from any liability for the debt or other obligations secured by the deed of trust that is the subject of the wrongful or erroneous certificate of satisfaction.

b. A settlement agent or title insurance agent that wrongfully or erroneously executes and files or records a certificate of satisfaction is liable to the lien creditor for actual damages sustained due to the recording of a wrongful or erroneous certificate of satisfaction.

c. The procedure authorized by this subsection for the release of a deed of trust shall constitute an optional method of accomplishing a release of a deed of trust secured by property in the Commonwealth. The nonuse of the procedure authorized by this subsection for the release of a deed of trust shall not give rise to any liability or any cause of action whatsoever against a settlement agent or any title insurance company by any obligated party or anyone succeeding to or assuming the interest of the obligated party.

5. Applicability.

a. The procedure authorized by this subsection for the release of a deed of trust may be used to effect the release of a deed of trust after July 1, 2002, regardless of when the deed of trust was created, assigned, or satisfied by payment made by the settlement agent.

b. This subsection applies only to transactions involving the purchase of or lending on the security of real estate located in the Commonwealth that is either (i) unimproved real estate with a lien to be released of $1 million or less or (ii) real estate containing at least one but not more than four residential dwelling units.

c. The procedure authorized by this subsection applies only to the full and complete release of a deed of trust. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to authorize the partial release of property from a deed of trust or otherwise permit the execution or recordation of a certificate of partial satisfaction.

Code 1919, § 6456; 1926, p. 80; 1930, p. 69; 1932, p. 120; 1944, p. 198; Code 1950, § 55-66.3; 1958, c. 14; 1962, c. 39; 1972, c. 280; 1975, c. 469; 1980, c. 116; 1986, c. 462; 1987, c. 673; 1988, c. 546; 1991, c. 414; 1996, cc. 895, 949; 1997, c. 221; 2000, c. 28; 2001, c. 711; 2002, cc. 845, 862; 2003, c. 745; 2004, c. 596; 2006, c. 907; 2009, cc. 254, 421; 2010, c. 236; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-340. (Effective October 1, 2019) Release by financial institution upon payment of debt placed with it for collection.

In any case where a note, bond, or other evidence of indebtedness placed by a creditor for collection with a bank, trust company, savings institution, small loan company, or credit union is fully paid at such financial institution, the financial institution, through its authorized agents, may execute all certificates, releases, and affidavits required of a creditor by this chapter to effectuate a release. The financial institution may execute and deliver to the clerk an affidavit to the effect that the financial institution had been acting as collecting agent for the creditor on the debt and that the debt has been paid in full at such institution.

1983, c. 220, § 55-66.3:1; 1996, c. 77; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-341. (Effective October 1, 2019) Partial satisfaction.

It is lawful for any lien creditor to record a certificate of partial satisfaction of any one or more of the separate pieces or parcels of property covered by such lien. It shall also be lawful for any such creditor to record a certificate of partial satisfaction of any part of the real estate covered by such lien if a plat of such part or a deed of such part is recorded in the clerk's office and a cross-reference is made in the certificate of partial satisfaction to the book and page where the plat or deed of such part is recorded. Such certificate of partial satisfaction may be accomplished in manner and form prescribed in this chapter for making certificates of satisfaction, except that the creditor, or his duly authorized agent, shall make an affidavit to the clerk or in such certificate that such creditor is at the time of making such satisfaction the legal holder of the obligation, note, bond, or other evidence of debt, secured by such lien, and when made in conformity with the provisions of this chapter such partial satisfaction shall be as valid and binding as a proper release deed duly executed for the same purpose.

Any and all partial marginal releases made prior to July 1, 1966, in any county or city of the Commonwealth, in conformity with the provisions of this chapter, either of one or more separate pieces or parcels of real estate or any part of the real estate covered by such lien, or as to one or more of the obligations secured by any such lien, or as to all of the real estate covered by such lien instrument, are hereby validated and declared to be binding upon all parties in interest, but this provision shall not be construed as intended to disturb or impair any vested right.

Code 1919, § 6456; 1930, p. 70; 1932, p. 121; 1944, p. 199; Code 1950, § 55-66.4; 1952, c. 469; 1966, c. 505; 1975, c. 469; 1977, c. 141; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-342. (Effective October 1, 2019) Permissible form for certificate of satisfaction or certificate of partial satisfaction.

Any release by a certificate of satisfaction or certificate of partial satisfaction shall be in conformity with §§ 55.1-339, 55.1-340, and 55.1-341 and shall conform substantially with the following Certificate of Satisfaction or Certificate of Partial Satisfaction forms:

CERTIFICATE OF SATISFACTION

Place of Record ____________

Date of Note/Deed of Trust ____________

Face Amount Secured/Face Amount of Note: ____________

Deed Book ______ Page ____

Name(s) of Grantor(s)/Maker(s); ____________

Name(s) of Trustee(s) ____________

Face Amount of Note(s) $______

I/we, holder(s) of the above-mentioned note(s) secured by the above-mentioned deed of trust, do hereby certify that the same has/have been paid in full, and the lien therein created and retained is hereby released.

GIVEN UNDER MY/OUR HAND(S) THIS ______ DAY OF ________, 20__.

________________

________________

(NOTE HOLDERS)

Commonwealth of Virginia,

County/City of ____________ to wit:

Subscribed, sworn to, and acknowledged before me by ____________ this ______ day of ______, 20__.

My Commission Expires: ____________

________________

NOTARY PUBLIC

Notary Registration Number: ____________

VIRGINIA;

IN THE CLERK'S OFFICE OF THE CIRCUIT COURT

This certificate was presented, and with the Certificate annexed, admitted to record on ________ at ____ o'clock _.m.

Clerk's fees: $______ have been paid.

Attest: ________, Deputy Clerk

CERTIFICATE OF PARTIAL SATISFACTION

Place of Record ________________

Date of Deed of Trust _

Deed Book ______ Page ____

Name(s) of Grantor(s) ________________

Name(s) of Trustee(s) ________________

Maker(s) of Note(s) ________________

Date of Note(s) ________________

Face Amount of Note(s) $________

The lien of the above-mentioned deed of trust securing the above-mentioned note is released insofar as the same is applicable to ____________ (description of property) recorded in deed book ________ at page ____ in the clerk's office of this court. The undersigned is/are the legal holder(s) of the obligation, note, bond, or other evidence of debt secured by said deed of trust.

Given under my/our hand(s) this ________ day of ________, 20__.

________________

________________

(NOTE HOLDERS)

Commonwealth of Virginia,

County/City of ____________ to wit:

Subscribed, sworn to, and acknowledged before me by ____________ this ________ day of ________, 20__.

My Commission Expires: ____________

________________

NOTARY PUBLIC

Notary Registration Number: ____________

The clerk shall satisfy the requirements of § 17.1-228.

Certificates conforming to this section prior to the amendment effective July 1, 1984, shall be deemed to be in substantial conformity to this section.

1975, c. 469, § 55-66.4:1; 1977, c. 254; 1982, c. 420; 1983, c. 220; 1984, c. 376; 1990, c. 328; 1994, c. 929; 1995, c. 271; 1996, c. 949; 2014, c. 330; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-343. (Effective October 1, 2019) Where certificates of satisfaction are to be indexed.

The clerk shall record a certificate of partial satisfaction or a certificate of satisfaction on the grantor index, both under the name of each grantor on the underlying deed of trust and under the name of the first-named trustee under which the deed of trust was indexed, all as identified on the certificate of satisfaction. The deed book and page number or the instrument number of the released deed of trust shall also be designated in the index. Any clerk using a separate index book or data file for grantees only shall also record in such book or file the name of each grantor on the underlying deed of trust as identified on the certificate of satisfaction.

1985, c. 245, § 55-66.4:2; 1986, c. 512; 1997, c. 579; 2002, c. 832; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-344. (Effective October 1, 2019) Releases made by court; costs and attorney fees.

A. Any person who owns or has any interest in real estate or personal property on which an encumbrance as described in § 55.1-339 exists may, after 20 days' notice to the person entitled to such encumbrance, apply to the circuit court of the county or city in which such encumbrance is recorded to have the same released or discharged. Upon proof that the encumbrance has been paid or discharged or upon a finding by the court that more than 15 years have elapsed since the maturity of the lien or encumbrance, raising a presumption of payment that is not rebutted at the hearing, such court shall order the clerk to record a certificate of satisfaction or a certificate of partial satisfaction that, when so recorded, shall operate as a release of such encumbrance.

All releases made prior to June 24, 1944, by any court under this section upon such presumption of payment so arising and not rebutted shall be validated.

B. If the court finds that the person entitled to such encumbrance cannot with due diligence be located, and that notice has been given such person in the manner provided by § 8.01-319 or 55.1-348, or that tender has been made of the sum due thereon but has been refused for any reason by the party to whom due, the court may in its discretion order the sum due to be paid into court, to be there held as provided by law, and to be paid upon demand to the person entitled thereto. The court shall order the same to be recorded as provided in subsection A, and such certificate of satisfaction or certificate of partial satisfaction shall operate as a release of the encumbrance.

C. Upon a finding by the court that the holder of a mortgage or deed of trust that has been fully paid or discharged has unjustifiably and without good cause failed or refused to release such mortgage or deed of trust, the court may order that costs and reasonable attorney fees be paid to the petitioning party. This subsection shall not preclude a separate action by the petitioning party for actual damages sustained by reason of such failure or refusal to release the encumbrance.

Code 1919, § 6456; 1926, p. 81; 1930, p. 70; 1932, p. 121; 1944, p. 199; Code 1950, § 55-66.5; 1956, c. 426; 1975, c. 469; 1987, c. 604; 1992, c. 532; 1999, c. 66; 2006, c. 907; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-345. (Effective October 1, 2019) Recordation of certificate of satisfaction, etc., required when release of lien recorded.

Whenever a release of a deed of trust or other obligation is recorded in the office of the clerk of any circuit court, such clerk shall record a certificate of satisfaction or certificate of partial satisfaction, stating that such deed or other obligation is released. The fee charged by the clerk for recording such release shall be paid by the lien debtor. Such certificate shall be indexed in the name of the grantors and grantees of the instrument being released. If any clerk fails for 10 days to do anything required of him by this section, he shall be liable for any damage that any person may sustain by reason of such failure.

Code 1919, § 3402; Code 1950, § 55-66.6; 1975, c. 469; 1979, c. 648; 1991, c. 414; 1993, c. 39; 2010, c. 352; 2019, c. 712.

Article 3. Satisfaction of Security Interest in Real Property

§ 55.1-346. (Effective October 1, 2019) Applicability.

The procedure authorized by this article for the release of a security interest in real property using an automated electronic recording system may be used to effect the release of a security interest regardless of when the security interest was created, assigned, or satisfied by payment made by the settlement agent. The procedure authorized by this section for the release of a security interest shall constitute an optional method of accomplishing a release of a security interest secured by property in the Commonwealth.

2006, c. 907, § 55-66.8; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-347. (Effective October 1, 2019) Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context requires otherwise:

"Day" means calendar day.

"Document" means information that is:

1. Inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form; and

2. Eligible to be recorded in the land records maintained by the clerk.

"Electronic," as defined in the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (§ 59.1-479 et seq.), means relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, or similar capabilities.

"Person" means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, public corporation, government, or governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality or any other legal or commercial entity.

"Real property" means real property that is used for residential or nonresidential purposes.

"Recording data" means the date, and deed book and page number or instrument number, that indicates where a document is recorded in the land records of the clerk of the circuit court pursuant to Chapter 6 (§ 55.1-600 et seq.).

"Secured creditor" means a person that holds or is the beneficiary of a security interest or that is authorized both to receive payments on behalf of a person that holds a security interest in real property and to record a satisfaction of the security instrument upon receiving full performance of the secured obligation. "Secured creditor" does not include a trustee under a security instrument. "Secured creditor" also includes "lender" as used in Chapter 10 (§ 55.1-1000 et seq.) and "lien creditor" and "servicer" as defined in § 55.1-339.

"Secured obligation" means an obligation the payment or performance of which is secured by a security interest.

"Security instrument" means an agreement, however denominated, that creates or provides for a security interest, whether or not it also creates or provides for a lien on personal property.

"Security interest" means an interest in real property created by a security instrument, securing payment, or performance of an obligation and includes a mortgage or deed of trust.

"Sign" means, with present intent to authenticate, accept, or adopt a document:

1. To execute or adopt a tangible symbol; or

2. To attach to or logically associate with the document an electronic sound, symbol, or process.

"State" means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

"Submit for recording" means to deliver, with required fees and taxes, a document sufficient to be recorded under this article to the office of the clerk of the circuit court pursuant to Chapter 6 (§ 55.1-600 et seq.).

2006, c. 907, § 55-66.9; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-348. (Effective October 1, 2019) Document of rescission; effect; liability for wrongful recording.

A. As used in this section, "document of rescission" means a document stating that an identified satisfaction, certificate of satisfaction, or affidavit of satisfaction of a security instrument was recorded erroneously or fraudulently, the secured obligation remains unsatisfied, and the security instrument remains in force.

B. If a person records a satisfaction, certificate of satisfaction, or affidavit of satisfaction of a security instrument in error or by fraud, the person may execute and record a document of rescission. Upon recording, the document rescinds an erroneously recorded satisfaction, certificate, or affidavit.

C. A recorded document of rescission has no effect on the rights of a person who:

1. Acquired an interest in the real property described in a security instrument after the recording of the satisfaction, certificate of satisfaction, or affidavit of satisfaction of the security instrument and before the recording of the document of rescission; and

2. Would otherwise have priority over or take free of the lien created by the security instrument under the laws of the Commonwealth.

D. A person, other than the clerk of the circuit court or any of his employees or other governmental official in the course of the performance of his recordation duties, who erroneously, fraudulently, or wrongfully records a document of rescission is subject to liability under § 55.1-339.

2006, c. 907, § 55-66.10; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-349. (Effective October 1, 2019) Secured creditor to submit satisfaction for recording; liability for failure.

A. A secured creditor shall submit for recording a satisfaction of a security instrument within 90 days after the creditor receives full payment or performance of the secured obligation in accordance with subsection B of § 55.1-339. If a security instrument secures a line of credit or future advances, the secured obligation is fully performed only if, in addition to full payment, the secured creditor has received a notification requesting the creditor to terminate the line of credit or containing a statement sufficient to terminate the effectiveness of the provision for future advances in the security instrument.

B. A secured creditor who is required to submit a satisfaction of a security instrument for recording and fails to do so by the end of the period specified in subsection A is subject to liability under § 55.1-339.

2006, c. 907, § 55-66.11; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-350. (Effective October 1, 2019) Form and effect of satisfaction.

A. A document is sufficient to constitute a satisfaction of a security instrument if it conforms substantially in form and content to the requirements of § 55.1-342 and it:

1. Identifies the security instrument, the original parties to the security instrument, the recording data for the security instrument, and the office in which the security instrument is recorded;

2. States that the person signing the satisfaction is the secured creditor;

3. Contains a legal description of the real property identified in the security instrument, but only if a legal description is necessary for a satisfaction to be properly indexed; otherwise, the deed book and page number or instrument number is sufficient;

4. Contains language terminating the effectiveness of the security instrument; and

5. Is signed by the secured creditor and acknowledged as required by law for a conveyance of an interest in real property.

B. The clerk of the circuit court shall accept for recording a satisfaction document, unless:

1. An amount equal to or greater than the applicable recording fees and taxes is not tendered;

2. The document is submitted by a method or in a medium not authorized by the laws of the Commonwealth; or

3. The document is not signed by the secured creditor and acknowledged as required by law for a conveyance of an interest in real property.

2006, c. 907, § 55-66.12; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-351. (Effective October 1, 2019) Relation to Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act.

To the extent permitted by law, this article modifies, limits, and supersedes the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, 15 U.S.C. § 7001 et seq., except that nothing in this article modifies, limits, or supersedes §§ 7001(c) and 7004 of that Act or authorizes electronic delivery of any of the notices described in § 7003(b) of that Act.

2006, c. 907, § 55-66.13; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-352. (Effective October 1, 2019) Uniform standards.

In consultation with the circuit court clerks, the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court, and interested citizens and businesses, the Virginia Information Technologies Agency shall develop standards to implement electronic recording of real property documents. The Virginia Information Technologies Agency shall consider standards and practices of other jurisdictions, the most recent standards promulgated by national standard-setting bodies, such as the Property Records Industry Association, views of interested persons and other governmental entities, and needs of localities of varying sizes, population, and resources.

2005, c. 749, § 55-66.14; 2019, c. 712.

Article 4. Effect of Certain Expressions in Deeds

§ 55.1-353. (Effective October 1, 2019) Effect of word "covenants.".

When a deed uses the words "the said ________ covenants," such covenant shall have the same effect as if it were expressed to be by the covenantor, for himself and his heirs, personal representatives, and assigns and shall be deemed to be with the covenantee and his heirs, personal representatives, and assigns.

Code 1919, § 5170; Code 1950, § 55-67; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-354. (Effective October 1, 2019) Effect of covenant of general warranty.

A covenant by the grantor in a deed "that he will warrant generally the property hereby conveyed" shall have the same effect as if the grantor had covenanted that he and his heirs and personal representatives will forever warrant and defend such property unto the grantee and his heirs, personal representatives, and assigns against the claims and demands of all persons.

Code 1919, § 5171; Code 1950, § 55-68; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-355. (Effective October 1, 2019) Covenant of special warranty.

A covenant by any such grantor "that he will warrant specially the property hereby conveyed" shall have the same effect as if the grantor has covenanted that he and his heirs and personal representatives will forever warrant and defend such property unto the grantee and his heirs, personal representatives, and assigns against the claims and demands of the grantor and all persons claiming or to claim by, through, or under him.

Code 1919, § 5172; Code 1950, § 55-69; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-356. (Effective October 1, 2019) Words "with general warranty," "with special warranty," and "with English covenants of title" construed.

The words "with general warranty" in the granting part of any deed shall be deemed to be a covenant by the grantor "that he will warrant generally the property hereby conveyed." The words "with special warranty" in the granting part of any deed shall be deemed to be a covenant by the grantor "that he will warrant specially the property hereby conveyed."

The words "with English covenants of title" or words of similar import in the granting part of any deed shall be deemed to be an expression by the grantor of those covenants set out in §§ 55.1-359 through 55.1-362, and in addition thereto the covenant that he is seized in fee simple of the property conveyed.

Code 1919, § 5173; Code 1950, § 55-70; 1968, c. 257; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-357. (Effective October 1, 2019) Implied warranties on new homes.

A. As used in this section:

"New dwelling" means a dwelling or house that has not previously been occupied for a period of more than 60 days by anyone other than the vendor or the vendee or that has not been occupied by the original vendor or subsequent vendor for a cumulative period of more than 12 months, excluding dwellings constructed solely for lease. "New dwelling" does not include a condominium or condominium units created pursuant to the Virginia Condominium Act (§ 55.1-1900 et seq.).

"Structural defects" means a defect or defects that reduce the stability or safety of the structure below accepted standards or that restrict the normal use of the structure.

B. In every contract for the sale of a new dwelling, the vendor shall be held to warrant to the vendee that, at the time of the transfer of record title or the vendee's taking possession, whichever occurs first, the dwelling with all of its fixtures is, to the best of the actual knowledge of the vendor or his agents, sufficiently (i) free from structural defects, so as to pass without objection in the trade, and (ii) constructed in a workmanlike manner, so as to pass without objection in the trade.

C. In addition, in every contract for the sale of a new dwelling, the vendor, if he is in the business of building or selling such dwellings, shall be held to warrant to the vendee that, at the time of transfer of record title or the vendee's taking possession, whichever occurs first, the dwelling together with all of its fixtures is sufficiently (i) free from structural defects, so as to pass without objection in the trade; (ii) constructed in a workmanlike manner, so as to pass without objection in the trade; and (iii) fit for habitation.

D. The warranties described in subsections B and C implied in the contract for sale shall be held to survive the transfer of title. Such warranties are in addition to, and not in lieu of, any other express or implied warranties pertaining to the dwelling or its materials or fixtures. A contract for sale may waive, modify, or exclude any or all express and implied warranties and sell a new home "as is" only if the words used to waive, modify, or exclude such warranties are conspicuous, as defined by subdivision (b)(10) of § 8.1A-201, set forth on the face of such contract in capital letters that are at least two points larger than the other type in the contract and only if the words used to waive, modify, or exclude the warranties state with specificity the warranty or warranties that are being waived, modified, or excluded. If all warranties are waived or excluded, a contract shall specifically set forth in capital letters that are at least two points larger than the other type in the contract that the dwelling is being sold "as is."

E. If there is a breach of warranty under this section, the vendee, or his heirs or personal representatives in case of his death, shall have a cause of action against his vendor for damages, provided, however, for any defect discovered after July 1, 2002, such vendee shall first provide the vendor, by certified mail at his last known address, or by commercial overnight delivery service or the United States Postal Service, and a receipt obtained, a written notice stating the nature of the warranty claim. Such notice also may be hand delivered to the vendor with the vendee retaining a receipt of such hand-delivered notice to the vendor or its authorized agent. After such notice, the vendor shall have a reasonable period of time, not to exceed six months, to cure the defect that is the subject of the warranty claim.

F. The warranty shall extend for a period of one year from the date of transfer of record title or the vendee's taking possession, whichever occurs first, except that the warranty pursuant to clause (i) of subsection C for the foundation of new dwellings shall extend for a period of five years from the date of transfer of record title or the vendee's taking possession, whichever occurs first. Any action for its breach shall be brought within two years after the breach thereof. For all warranty claims arising on or after January 1, 2009, sending the notice required by subsection E shall toll the limitations period for six months.

G. In the case of new dwellings where fire-retardant treated plywood sheathing or other roof sheathing materials are used in lieu of fire-retardant treated plywood, the vendor shall be deemed to have assigned the manufacturer's warranty, at settlement, to the vendee. The vendee shall have a direct cause of action against the manufacturer of such roof sheathing for any breach of such warranty. To the extent any such manufacturer's warranty purports to limit the right of third parties or prohibit assignment, such provision shall be unenforceable and of no effect.

1979, c. 282, § 55-70.1; 1988, c. 394; 1992, c. 431; 1994, cc. 483, 766; 2002, c. 795; 2003, c. 353; 2008, c. 392; 2011, c. 803; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-358. (Effective October 1, 2019) Effect of certain transfer fee covenants.

A. As used in this section, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Transfer" means assignment, conveyance, gift, inheritance, sale, or other transfer of ownership interest in real property located in the Commonwealth.

"Transfer fee" means a fee or charge payable to a nongovernmental person or entity upon transfer or payable for the right to make or accept such transfer, regardless of whether the fee or charge is a fixed amount or is determined as a percentage of the value of the property, the purchase price of the property, or other consideration given for the transfer. "Transfer fee" does not include:

1. Any consideration that is payable by a grantee to a grantor for the interest in real property being transferred;

2. Any commission that is payable to a licensed real estate broker for a transfer under an agreement between the broker and the grantor or grantee;

3. Any amount, charge, fee, or interest that is payable by a borrower to a lender under a loan secured by a deed of trust or mortgage on real property, including (i) any fee that is payable to the lender for consenting to an assumption of the loan or a transfer of the real property subject to the deed of trust or mortgage and (ii) any consideration allowed by law that is payable to the lender in connection with the loan;

4. Any amount, charge, fee, reimbursement, or rent that is payable by a lessee to a lessor under a lease, including any fee that is payable to the lessor for consenting to an assignment, sublease, encumbrance, or transfer of the lease;

5. Any consideration that is payable to the holder of an option to purchase an interest in real property, the holder of a right of first refusal, or the holder of a right of first offer to purchase an interest in real property for releasing, waiving, or not exercising the option or right upon the transfer of the property to a person other than the holder;

6. Any assessment, charge, or fee authorized by statute, the recorded condominium instrument, or the recorded declaration to be charged by, or payable to, a common interest community as defined in § 54.1-2345 or a cooperative as defined in § 55.1-2100; or

7. Any amount, assessment, charge, fee, fine, or tax that is payable to or imposed by a governmental authority.

"Transfer fee covenant" means a covenant or declaration that purports to affect real property and that requires or purports to require, upon a subsequent transfer of such property, the payment of a transfer fee to the declarant or other nongovernmental person or entity specified in the covenant or declaration or to the assigns or successors of such declarant or nongovernmental person or entity.

B. A transfer fee covenant recorded in the Commonwealth on or after July 1, 2011, shall not run with the title to real property and is not binding on, or enforceable at law or in equity against, any subsequent owner, purchaser, or mortgagee of any interest in real property as an equitable servitude or otherwise. Any lien purporting to secure the payment of a transfer fee under a transfer fee covenant recorded in the Commonwealth on or after July 1, 2011, is void and unenforceable.

2011, c. 706, § 55-70.2; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-359. (Effective October 1, 2019) Covenant of "right to convey.".

A covenant by the grantor in a deed for land "that he has the right to convey the said land to the grantee" shall have the same effect as if the grantor had covenanted that he has good right, full power, and absolute authority to convey the land, with all the buildings thereon and the privileges and appurtenances thereto belonging, unto the grantee, in the manner in which the same is conveyed or intended so to be by the deed, and according to its true intent.

Code 1919, § 5174; Code 1950, § 55-71; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-360. (Effective October 1, 2019) Covenant for "quiet possession" and "free from all encumbrances.".

A covenant by any such grantor "that the grantee shall have quiet possession of the said land" shall have as much effect as if he covenanted that the grantee and his heirs and assigns might, at any and all times thereafter, peaceably and quietly enter upon and have, hold, and enjoy the land conveyed by the deed, or intended so to be, with all the buildings thereon and the privileges and appurtenances thereto belonging, and receive and take the rents and profits thereof, to and for his and their use and benefit, without any eviction, interruption, suit, claim, or demand whatever. If to such covenant there be added "free from all encumbrances," these words shall have as much effect as the words "and that freely and absolutely acquitted, exonerated, and forever discharged, or otherwise by the said grantor or his heirs saved harmless and indemnified of, from, and against any and every charge and encumbrance whatever."

Code 1919, § 5175; Code 1950, § 55-72; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-361. (Effective October 1, 2019) Covenant for "further assurances.".

A covenant by any such grantor "that he will execute such further assurances of the said lands as may be requisite" shall have the same effect as if he covenanted that he, the grantor, and his heirs or personal representative will at any time, upon any reasonable request, at the charge of the grantee and his heirs or assigns, do, execute, or cause to be done or executed all such further acts, deeds, and things for the better, more perfectly and absolutely conveying and assuring the said lands and premises thereby conveyed or intended so to be unto the grantee and his heirs and assigns in manner aforesaid, as by the grantee and his heirs or assigns and his or their attorney, shall be reasonably devised, advised, or required.

Code 1919, § 5176; Code 1950, § 55-73; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-362. (Effective October 1, 2019) Covenant of "no act to encumber.".

A covenant by any such grantor "that he has done no act to encumber the said lands" shall have the same effect as if he covenanted that he had not done or executed, or knowingly suffered, any act, deed, or thing whereby the lands and premises conveyed, or intended so to be, or any part thereof, are or will be charged, affected, or encumbered in title, estate, or otherwise.

Code 1919, § 5177; Code 1950, § 55-74; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-363. (Effective October 1, 2019) Effect of certain words of release in a deed.

Whenever any deed uses the words: "The said grantor (or the said ______) releases to the said grantee (or the said ______) all his claims upon the said lands," such deed shall be construed as if it set forth that the grantor (or releasor) has remised, released, and forever quitted claim and by these presents does remise, release, and forever quitclaim to the grantee (or releasee) and his heirs and assigns all right, title, and interest whatsoever, both at law and in equity, in or to the lands and premises granted (or released) or intended to be granted (or released), so that neither he nor his personal representative, heirs, or assigns shall at any time thereafter have any type of claim, challenge, or demand on the lands and premises or any part thereof.

Code 1919, § 5164; Code 1950, § 55-75; 2019, c. 712.

Chapter 4. Fraudulent and Voluntary Conveyances; Writings Necessary to Be Recorded.

§ 55.1-400. (Effective October 1, 2019) Void fraudulent acts; bona fide purchasers not affected.

Every (i) gift, conveyance, assignment, or transfer of, or charge upon, any estate, real or personal, (ii) action commenced or order, judgment, or execution suffered or obtained, and (iii) bond or other writing given with intent to delay, hinder, or defraud creditors, purchasers, or other persons of or from what they are or may be lawfully entitled to shall, as to such creditors, purchasers, or other persons or their representatives or assigns, be void. This section shall not affect the title of a purchaser for valuable consideration, unless it appears that he had notice of the fraudulent intent of his immediate grantor or of the fraud rendering void the title of such grantor.

Code 1919, § 5184; Code 1950, § 55-80; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-401. (Effective October 1, 2019) Voluntary gifts, conveyances, assignments, transfers, or charges; void as to prior creditors.

Every gift, conveyance, assignment, transfer, or charge that is not upon consideration deemed valuable in law, or that is upon consideration of marriage by an insolvent transferor or by a transferor who is thereby rendered insolvent, shall be void as to creditors whose debts were contracted at the time such gift, conveyance, assignment, transfer, or charge was made but shall not, on that account merely, be void as to creditors whose debts have been contracted, or as to purchasers who have purchased, after such gift, conveyance, assignment, transfer, or charge was made. Even though it is decreed to be void as to a prior creditor, because voluntary or upon consideration of marriage, it shall not, for that cause, be decreed to be void as to subsequent creditors or purchasers.

Code 1919, § 5185; Code 1950, § 55-81; 1988, c. 512; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-402. (Effective October 1, 2019) Creditor's action to avoid such gifts, conveyances, assignments, transfers, or charges.

Before obtaining a judgment for his claim, a creditor may, whether such claim is due and payable or not, institute any action that he may institute after obtaining such judgment to avoid a gift, conveyance, assignment, or transfer of, or charge upon, the estate of his debtor declared void by either § 55.1-400 or 55.1-401. Such creditor may, in such action, have all the relief with respect to such estate to which he would be entitled after obtaining a judgment for the claim for which he may be entitled to recover. A creditor availing himself of this section shall have a lien from the time of bringing his action on all the estate, real and personal, and a petitioning creditor shall also be entitled to a lien from the time of filing his petition in the court in which the action is brought. If the proceeds of sale are insufficient to satisfy the claims of all the creditors whose liens were acquired at the same time, they shall be applied proportionately to such claims, and the court may issue an order against the debtor for any deficiency remaining on the claim of any creditor after applying his share of the proceeds of sale, or, if any creditor is not entitled to share in such proceeds, may issue an order against the debtor for the full amount of the creditor's claim. This section is subject to the provisions of §§ 8.01-268 and 8.01-269.

Code 1919, § 5186; Code 1950, § 55-82; 1926, p. 874; 2009, c. 593; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-403. (Effective October 1, 2019) Creditor's action; attorney fees.

In any action brought by a creditor pursuant to § 55.1-400, 55.1-401, or 55.1-402, where a (i) gift; (ii) deed; (iii) conveyance, assignment, or transfer of or charge upon the estate of a debtor; (iv) action commenced or judgment or execution suffered or obtained; or (v) bond or other writing is declared void, the court shall award counsel for the creditor reasonable attorney fees against the debtor. Upon a finding of fraudulent conveyance pursuant to § 55.1-400, the court may assess sanctions, including such attorney fees, against all parties over which it has jurisdiction who, with the intent to defraud and having knowledge of the judgment, participated in the conveyance. Should there be a resulting judicial sale, any award of attorney fees shall be paid out of the proceeds of the sale, as other costs are paid, provided that the award of attorney fees does not affect a prior lien creditor not represented by the attorney.

2009, c. 593, § 55-82.1; 2012, c. 810; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-404. (Effective October 1, 2019) Authority of court to set aside.

The court may set aside a fraudulent conveyance or voluntary transfer pursuant to § 55.1-400 or 55.1-401 during an action brought by a creditor to execute on a judgment, either on motion of the creditor or on its own motion, provided that all parties who have an interest in the property subject to the conveyance or transfer are given notice of the proceeding. The court, by order, may direct the clerk to issue the proper process against such parties and, upon the maturing of the case, proceed to make such orders as would have been proper if the new parties had been made parties at the commencement of the action.

2012, c. 810, § 55-82.2; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-405. (Effective October 1, 2019) Loans and reservations of a use or property to be recorded.

When any loan of personal property is pretended to have been made to any person with whom, or with those claiming under him, possession has remained five years without demand made and pursued by due process of law on the part of the pretended lender, or when any reservation or limitation is pretended to have been made of a use or property by way of condition, reversion, remainder, or otherwise in personal property, the possession of which has so remained in another as aforesaid, the absolute property shall be taken to be with the possession and such loan, reservation, or limitation void as to creditors of, and purchasers from, the person so remaining in possession, unless such loan, reservation, or limitation is declared by will which, or a copy of which, or by deed or other writing which, is duly recorded within a period of five years in the circuit court of the county or city in which the personal property is located.

Code 1919, § 5188; Code 1950, § 55-87; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-406. (Effective October 1, 2019) Certain recorded contracts as valid as deeds.

Any such contract or bill of sale as is mentioned in § 11-1, if in writing and signed by the owner of the property, shall, from the time it is duly recorded, be, as against creditors and purchasers, as valid, so far as it affects real estate, as if the contract were a deed conveying the estate or interest embraced in the contract and, so far as it affects goods and chattels, as if possession had completely passed at the time of such recording, provided that, as to goods whose possession is retained by a merchant-seller, the provisions of subsection (2) of § 8.2-402 of the Uniform Commercial Code shall be controlling and provided further that, if any such contract or bill of sale as is mentioned in § 11-1 creates a security interest as defined in the Uniform Commercial Code, its validity and enforceability shall be governed by the provisions of that Code.

Code 1919, § 5193; Code 1950, § 55-95; 1964, c. 314; 1966, c. 399; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-407. (Effective October 1, 2019) Contracts, etc., void as to creditors and purchasers until recorded; priority of credit line deed of trust.

A. 1. Every (i) contract in writing; (ii) deed conveying any estate or term; (iii) deed of gift, or deed of trust, or mortgage conveying real estate or personal property; and (iv) bill of sale, or contract for the sale of personal property, when the possession is allowed to remain with the grantor, shall be void as to all purchasers for valuable consideration without notice not parties thereto and lien creditors, until and except from the time it is recorded in the county or city in which the property subject to such contract, deed, or bill of sale is located. The fact that any such instrument is in the form of or contains the terms of a quit-claim or release shall not prevent the grantee from being a purchaser for valuable consideration without notice, nor be of itself notice to such grantee of any unrecorded conveyance of or encumbrance upon such real estate or personal property. The mere possession of real estate shall not, of itself, be notice to purchasers for value of any interest or estate therein of the person in possession. As to personal property whose possession is retained by a merchant-seller, the provisions of subsection (2) of § 8.2-402 of the Uniform Commercial Code shall control. This section shall not apply to any security interest in personal property under the Uniform Commercial Code. Any bill of sale or contract for the sale of personal property when possession is allowed to remain with the grantor shall be deemed to be duly recorded when it is filed in the same manner as Uniform Commercial Code financing statements are filed under the criteria and in the places established by § 8.9A-501 as if the grantor were a debtor and the grantee a secured party. A recordation under the provisions of this section shall, when any real estate subject to the lien of any such contract has been annexed to or merged with an adjoining city subsequent to such docketing, be deemed to have been recorded in the proper clerk's office of such city.

2. The clerk of each court in which any such instrument is by law required to be recorded shall keep a daily index of all such instruments admitted to record in his office, and, immediately upon recording such instrument, the clerk shall index the same either in the daily index or the appropriate general index of his office. All instruments indexed in the daily index shall be indexed by the clerk in the appropriate general index within 90 days after recording. During the period permitted for transfer from the daily index to the general index, indexing in the daily index shall be a sufficient compliance with the requirements of this section as to indexing.

3. a. In any circuit court in which any such instrument required to be recorded is not recorded on the same day as delivered, the clerk shall install a time stamp machine. The time stamp machine shall affix the current date and time of each delivery of any instrument delivered to the clerk for recording that is not immediately recorded and entered into the general or daily index.

b. In the event that a time stamp machine has not been installed or is not functioning, the clerk shall designate an employee to affix the current date and time of each delivery of any instrument delivered to the clerk for recording.

c. In any circuit court in which instruments required to be recorded are not recorded on the same day as delivered, for purposes of subdivision 1, the term "from the time it is recorded" shall be presumed to be the date and time affixed upon the instrument by the time stamp machine or affixed by the clerk in accordance with subdivision b unless the clerk determines that the applicable requirements for recordation of the instrument have not been satisfied.

d. The provisions of subdivision 3 shall not apply to certificates of satisfaction or partial satisfaction or assignments of deeds of trust delivered to the clerk's office other than by hand.

B. A credit line deed of trust, recorded pursuant to § 55.1-318, is valid and has priority over any (i) contract in writing, deed, conveyance, or other instrument conveying any such estate or term subsequently recorded or (ii) judgment subsequently docketed as to all advances made under such credit line deed of trust from the date of recordation of such credit line deed of trust, whether or not the particular advance or extension of credit has been made or unconditionally committed at the time of delivery or recordation of such contract in writing, deed, or other instrument or the docketing of such judgment. Any judgment creditor shall have the right to give the notice contemplated by § 55.1-318 and, from the day following receipt of such notice, the judgment as docketed shall have priority over all subsequent advances made pursuant to the credit line deed of trust except those that have been unconditionally and irrevocably committed prior to such date. Mechanics' liens created under Title 43 shall continue to have the same priority as created by that title. Purchase money security interests in goods and fixtures shall have the same priority as provided in Part 3 of Title 8.9A (§ 8.9A-317 et seq.).

Code 1919, § 5194; 1922, p. 474; 1944, p. 356; Code 1950, § 55-96; 1964, cc. 219, 309, 314; 1966, c. 400; 1974, c. 522; 1982, c. 230; 1984, c. 19; 1988, c. 51; 2003, c. 776; 2014, c. 267; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-408. (Effective October 1, 2019) Where to be recorded.

Notwithstanding that any writing is recorded in one county or city in which there is real estate or personal property, it nevertheless is void as to such creditors and purchasers in respect to other real estate or personal property without such recording until it is duly recorded in the county or city in which such other real estate or personal property may be located, but it shall be sufficient to record a deed releasing the lien of a deed of trust, in whole or in part, either in the county or city in which the property thereby released is located or in the county or city in which the property so released was situated at the time of the recordation of the deed of trust, and any recordation thereof so made of any such release is hereby validated.

Code 1919, § 5195; Code 1950, § 55-97; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-409. (Effective October 1, 2019) Recordation of instruments affecting civil aircraft of United States.

No instrument that affects the title to or interest in any civil aircraft of the United States, as defined by federal law, or any portion of such aircraft, shall be valid in respect of such aircraft or portion of such aircraft against any person other than the person by whom the instrument is made or to whom the instrument is given, his heir or devisee, and any person having actual notice of such instrument, until such instrument is recorded in the office of the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States, or such other office as is designated by the laws of the United States as the one in which such instruments should be filed. Every such instrument so recorded in such office shall be valid as to all persons without further recordation in any office in the Commonwealth, the provisions of any other recordation statute to the contrary notwithstanding. Any instrument for which recordation is required by the provisions of this section shall take effect from the date of its recordation and not from the date of its execution.

1946, p. 387; Michie Suppl. 1946, § 5194a; Code 1950, § 55-100; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-410. (Effective October 1, 2019) Priority of writings when admitted to record same day.

Unless otherwise provided for in this chapter, when two or more writings pertaining to the same property are recorded in the same county or city on the same day and stamped with the identical time, the instrument number shall determine the writing that was first recorded. The instrument that was first recorded shall have priority with respect to the property in such county or city.

Code 1919, § 5198; Code 1950, § 55-101; 1987, c. 104; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-411. (Effective October 1, 2019) When writings to be recorded in county, and when in city.

The provisions of this and any other chapter of the Code or of any subsequent statute, by virtue of which a writing is to be or may be recorded in the county or city in which the property embraced in such writing is located, shall be construed, in respect to the county, as relating only to property within the county and outside the corporate limits of the city having a court in which writings may be lawfully recorded, and, in respect to the city, as relating only to property within the corporate limits of such city having such a court.

Code 1919, § 5199; Code 1950, § 55-102; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-412. (Effective October 1, 2019) Words "creditors" and "purchasers," how construed.

The words "creditors" and "purchasers," when used in any previous section of this chapter, shall not be restricted to the protection of creditors of and purchasers from the grantor, but shall also extend to and embrace all creditors and purchasers who, but for the deed or writing, would have had title to the property conveyed or a right to subject it to their debts.

Code 1919, § 5200; Code 1950, § 55-103; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-413. (Effective October 1, 2019) Lien of subsequent purchaser for purchase money paid before notice.

As against any person claiming under the deed or other writing that has not been recorded before payment by a subsequent purchaser for valuable consideration of the whole or a part of his purchase money, such subsequent purchaser, notwithstanding such deed or other writing recorded before he becomes a complete purchaser, shall have a lien on the property purchased by him for so much of his purchase money as he may have paid before notice of such lien.

Code 1919, § 5200; Code 1950, § 55-104; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-414. (Effective October 1, 2019) When purchaser not affected by record of deed or contract.

A purchaser shall not, under this chapter, be affected by the record of a deed or contract made by a person under whom his title is not derived, nor by the record of a deed or contract made by any person under whom the title of such purchaser is derived, if it was made by such person before he acquired the legal title of record.

Code 1919, § 5201; Code 1950, § 55-105; 2019, c. 712.

Chapter 5. Commutation and Valuation of Certain Estates and Interests.

§ 55.1-500. (Effective October 1, 2019) Annuity table.

When a party as tenant for life is entitled to the annual interests on a sum of money, or is entitled to the use of any estate, or a part thereof, and is willing to accept a gross sum in lieu thereof, or the party liable for such interest, or affected by such claim, has the right to pay a gross sum in lieu thereof, or if the court in any legal proceeding orders a gross sum to be paid in lieu thereof, the sum shall be estimated according to the then value of an annuity of eight percent on the principal sum during the probable life of such person, according to the following table, showing in Column I the present value, on the basis of eight percent interest, of an annuity of $1, payable at the end of every year that a person of a given age may be living, for the ages therein stated:

PRESENT VALUE

---------------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------------------
 Age last birthdayI lifeII lives
Less than one year12.06011.670
112.29112.124
212.29112.127
312.28612.120
412.27812.107
512.26712.091
612.25612.071
712.24212.049
812.22712.024
912.21111.996
1012.19211.965
1112.17111.930
1212.14911.892
1312.12511.852
1412.10211.812
1512.07811.773
1612.05511.736
1712.03211.701
1812.01011.666
1911.98811.632
2011.96411.596
2111.93911.559
2211.91311.521
2311.88611.480
2411.85711.437
2511.82411.389
2611.78911.336
2711.75111.278
2811.70911.215
2911.66411.148
3011.61511.075
3111.56410.998
3211.51010.917
3311.45210.831
3411.39110.741
3511.32610.645
3611.25810.545
3711.18610.440
3811.11010.331
3911.03110.217
4010.94810.098
4110.8619.975
4210.7709.847
4310.6759.714
4410.5769.576
4510.4739.434
4610.3659.288
4710.2549.138
4810.1388.983
4910.0188.824
509.8938.661
519.7648.493
529.6318.322
539.4938.147
549.3527.970
559.2077.790
569.0577.608
578.9047.423
588.7477.237
598.5867.048
608.4216.856
618.2526.662
628.0786.466
637.9006.267
647.7186.067
657.5325.865
667.3435.663
677.1505.460
686.9545.256
696.7555.052
706.5524.847
716.3454.640
726.1344.431
735.9204.222
745.7054.015
755.4913.812
765.2793.615
775.0693.424
784.8613.239
794.6543.057
804.4482.879
814.2442.706
824.0442.538
833.8462.376
843.6522.217
853.4592.061
863.2721.911
873.0971.774
882.9341.651
892.7801.537
902.6301.426
912.4851.319
922.3501.220
932.2271.131
942.1181.053
952.0240.986
961.9430.931
971.8730.885
981.8110.845
991.7540.810
1001.7010.779
1011.6510.751
1021.6020.726
1031.5500.703
1041.4920.682
1051.4200.661
1061.3220.637
1071.1780.602
1080.9550.535
1090.5950.383

1973, c. 355, § 55-269.1; 1981, c. 612; 1990, c. 831; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-501. (Effective October 1, 2019) Rule of calculation under § 55.1-500.

A. Calculate the interest at eight percent upon the sum to the income of which, or upon the value of the property to the use of which, the person is entitled. Multiply this interest by the present value of an annuity of $1, as set opposite the person's age in the table, and the product is the gross value of the life estate of such person.

B. Example: Suppose a person whose age is 42 is a tenant for life in the whole of an estate worth $10,500. The annual interest on that sum at eight percent is $840. The present value of an annuity of $1 at the age of 42, as shown by the table, is $10.77, which, multiplied by $840, gives $9,046.80 as the gross value of such life estate in the premises, or the proceeds of such life estate.

Code 1919, §§ 5132, 5133; 1946, p. 555; Code 1950, §§ 55-270, 55-271; 1973, c. 355; 1981, c. 612; 1990, c. 831; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-502. (Effective October 1, 2019) Table of uniform seniority.

When any two parties, as joint tenants for life, are entitled to the annual interest on a sum of money, or are entitled to the use of any estate or a part thereof, and are willing to accept a gross sum in lieu thereof, or the party liable for such interest, or affected by such claim, has the right to pay a gross sum in lieu thereof, or if the court in any legal proceeding orders a gross sum to be paid in lieu thereof, the sum shall be estimated according to the then value of an annuity of eight percent on the principal sum during the probable joint lives of such persons (which probable joint lives shall be computed from the table in this section for computing uniform seniority) as set forth in Column II in the table in § 55.1-500, showing the present value, on the basis of eight percent interest, of an annuity of $1 payable at the end of every year that two persons of given ages may both be living for the ages therein stated:

TABLE OF UNIFORM SENIORITY

---------------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------------------
Difference of ageAddition to younger age
11
21
32
42
53
64
74
85
96
107
117
128
139
1410
1511
1612
1713
1814
1914
2015
2116
2217
2318
2419
2520
2621
2722
2823
2924
3025
3126
3227
3328
3429
3530
3631
3732
3833
3934
4035
4136
4237
4338
4439
4540
4641
4742
4843
4944
5045
5146
5247
5348
5449
5550
5651
5752
5853
5954
6055
6156
6257
6358
6459
6560
6661
6762
6863
6964
7065
7166
7267
7368
7469
7570

1973, c. 355, § 55-272.1; 1981, c. 612; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-503. (Effective October 1, 2019) Rules of calculation under § 55.1-502.

A. Calculate the interest at eight percent upon the sum to the income of which, or upon the value of the property to the use of which, the joint life tenants are entitled. Multiply this interest by the present value of an annuity of $1, as shown in Column II of § 55.1-500, for the joint equal age of such joint life tenants. The joint equal age of such tenants shall be obtained as follows: Take the difference in age in years between such tenants and refer to the table in § 55.1-502 and add to the younger age the value opposite such difference, and the sum is the joint equal age; take this joint equal age and refer to the table in § 55.1-500 and find in Column II the value of an annuity of $1 a year payable for life during such joint equal age. The product of the interest and the value of an annuity for a given joint equal age is the gross value of the joint life estate of such person therein.

B. Example: Doe, age 30, and Roe, age 40, are joint tenants for life in the whole of an estate worth $10,500: The difference in ages is 10 and, as shown by the table in § 55.1-502, the value opposite age difference 10 is seven. Seven added to 30, Doe's age, gives 37; as shown by the table in § 55.1-500, the value in Column II for an annuity of $1 for two joint lives at joint equal age 37 is $10.44 and no mills, and this, multiplied by $840 (the interest at eight percent on $10,000), gives $8,769.60 as the gross value of the joint life estate of such persons.

1946, p. 556; Michie Suppl. 1946, § 5133a2; Code 1950, § 55-273; 1973, c. 355; 1981, c. 612; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-504. (Effective October 1, 2019) Makehamized mortality table.

When more than two parties as joint tenants for life, or three or more parties as tenants in successive estates, are entitled to the annual interest on a sum of money, or are entitled to the use of any estate, or a part thereof, and are willing to accept a gross sum in lieu thereof, or the party liable for such interest, or affected by such claim, has the right to pay a gross sum in lieu thereof, or if the court in any legal proceeding orders a gross sum to be paid in lieu thereof, the sum shall be estimated according to the then value of an annuity of eight percent on the principal sum during the probable lives of such persons. Probable lives shall be computed from the Makehamized mortality table for total population in the United States, 1969-1971, published by the Bureau of the Census of the Department of Commerce.

X  AxAxxAxxxAxxxxCx
012.06011.67011.30510.9581.000
112.29112.12411.97311.8321.147
212.29112.12711.97911.8431.315
312.28612.12011.97111.8341.508
412.27812.10711.95611.8161.730
512.26712.09111.93411.7911.984
612.25612.07111.90911.7602.275
712.24212.04911.87911.7242.609
812.22712.02411.84611.6842.992
912.21111.99611.80911.6383.431
1012.19211.96511.76611.5873.935
1112.17111.93011.72011.5294.512
1212.14911.89211.66811.4665.175
1312.12511.85211.61511.4015.935
1412.10211.81211.56211.3366.806
1512.07811.77311.51011.2747.805
1612.05511.73611.46211.2158.951
1712.03211.70111.41611.16210.265
1812.01011.66611.37311.11111.772
1911.98811.63211.33011.06213.501
2011.96411.59611.28611.01115.483
2111.93911.55911.24010.95917.756
2211.91311.52111.19310.90520.362
2311.88611.48011.14410.85023.352
2411.85711.43711.09110.78926.780
2511.82411.38911.03210.72330.712
2611.78911.33610.96810.64935.221
2711.75111.27810.89610.56740.392
2811.70911.21510.81810.47846.321
2911.66411.14810.73410.38253.122
3011.61511.07510.64510.27960.921
3111.56410.99810.55010.17169.865
3211.51010.91710.45010.05680.122
3311.45210.83110.3449.93691.885
3411.39110.74110.2339.809105.375
3511.32610.64510.1179.677120.845
3611.25810.5459.9959.539138.586
3711.18610.4409.8689.396158.932
3811.11010.3319.7359.247182.266
3911.03110.2179.5999.094209.024
4010.94810.0989.4578.936239.712
4110.8619.9759.3118.773274.904
4210.7709.8479.1598.605315.263
4310.6759.7149.0028.432361.548
4410.5769.5768.8418.256414.627
4510.4739.4348.6778.076475.500
4610.3659.2888.5087.893545.309
4710.2549.1388.3367.707625.367
4810.1388.9838.1607.517717.178
4910.0188.8247.9797.234822.468
509.8938.6617.7967.129943.217
519.7648.4937.6086.9301081.692
529.6318.3227.4186.7301240.497
539.4938.1477.2266.5291422.617
549.3527.9707.0336.3281631.475
559.2077.7906.8386.1271870.995
569.0577.6086.6435.9272145.679
578.9047.4236.4475.7272460.691
588.7477.2376.2505.5292821.950
598.5867.0486.0535.3313236.246
608.4216.8565.8555.1333711.365
618.2526.6625.6564.9364256.238
628.0786.4665.4574.7404881.105
637.9006.2675.2574.5445597.710
647.7186.0675.0564.3496419.521
657.5325.8654.8574.1577361.984
667.3435.6634.6593.9678442.811
677.1505.4604.4623.7809682.318
686.9545.2564.2663.59611103.798
696.7555.0524.0723.41412733.969
706.5524.8473.8793.23414603.468
716.3454.6403.6853.05516747.432
726.1344.4313.4902.87519206.157
735.9204.2223.2962.69722025.851
745.7054.0153.1062.52325259.510
755.4913.8122.9222.35628967.909
765.2793.6152.7452.19733220.746
775.0693.4242.5772.04738097.950
784.8613.2392.4151.90543691.186
794.6543.0572.2581.76850105.577
804.4482.8792.1061.63657461.677
814.2442.7061.9591.50965897.740
824.0442.5381.8181.38975572.319
833.8462.3761.6841.27686667.243
843.6522.2171.5541.16699391.034
853.4592.0611.4251.058113982.830
863.2721.9111.3020.955130716.878
873.0971.7741.1920.863149907.684
882.9341.6511.0950.784171915.931
892.7801.5371.0070.713197155.252
902.6301.4260.9220.645226100.009
912.4851.3190.8390.579259294.204
922.3501.2200.7630.519297361.704
932.2271.1310.6950.465341017.971
942.1181.0530.6360.419391083.501
952.0240.9860.5860.380448499.252
961.9430.9310.5460.349514344.324
971.8730.8850.5120.324589856.243
981.8110.8450.4840.302676454.218
991.7540.8100.4590.284775765.815
1001.7010.7790.4370.268889657.545
1011.6510.7510.4170.2541020269.949
1021.6020.7260.4000.2411170057.821
1031.5500.7030.3850.2301341836.349
1041.4920.6820.3720.2211538834.028
1051.4200.6610.3590.2121764753.329
1061.3220.6370.3480.2052023840.295
1071.1780.6020.3350.1972320964.336
1080.9550.5350.3120.1882661709.752
1090.5950.3830.2460.1583052480.684

Example: Three persons age 30, 40, and 45 are joint tenants for life in the whole of an estate worth $10,500: the equivalent equal age, w, of these 3 persons is given by the following formula:

C 30, C 40, and C 45 are found in column 6 of the above table.

A linear interpolation between x = 40 and x = 41 in the above table would yield the value of x = 40.540 which would be the equivalent equal age of the persons involved.

Finally, a linear interpolation between x = 40 and x = 41 would yield the value of A = 9.378 40.540:40.540:40.540.

This figure multiplied by $840 (the interest at 8% on $10,500) gives $7,877.52 as the gross value of the joint life estate of such persons therein.

1946, p. 557; Michie Suppl. 1946, § 5133a3; Code 1950, § 55-274; 1973, c. 355; 1981, c. 612; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-505. (Effective October 1, 2019) Commutation in case of persons under disability.

In any case in which, under the laws of the Commonwealth, a provision is made for commutation in money of a life estate when all the parties interested are under no disability, such provision shall also apply when any of the parties interested are under disability. Where any of the parties interested are under disability, the court may, upon application of the guardian, conservator, committee, or trustee, if any, and, if not, by a guardian ad litem appointed by the clerk or judge of said court, of any such person, on behalf of his ward, and upon hearing evidence satisfactory to such court or judge, enter an order authorizing such guardian, conservator, committee, trustee, or guardian ad litem to consent on behalf of such person under disability to such commutation. Such consent shall be as valid and effective as if the person on whose behalf it was given were sui juris and had given such consent. All judicial orders and decrees entered prior to July 1, 1960, authorizing any such commutation where persons under disability were interested, are hereby validated and confirmed, provided that nothing in this section shall be construed as intended to impair any vested right.

1926, p. 746; Michie Code 1942, § 5133b; 1948, p. 682; Code 1950, § 55-276; 1960, c. 45; 1997, c. 801; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-506. (Effective October 1, 2019) Commutation of certain life estates.

Whenever a party as tenant for life, or in any other manner, has a life interest in an estate that has been sold under an action for partition or has been reduced to money, stocks, bonds, or notes, susceptible of division and when the total cost of holding such money, stocks, bonds, or notes intact amounts to more than eight percent of the gross annual income, and when the party owning such life estate is willing to accept a lump sum in lieu of such annual income, upon the application of such person entitled to such annual income to any court of record having jurisdiction over the subject matter, the court may order that such party or parties having charge of such money, stocks, bonds, or notes shall pay to the party having the right to receive such annual income a lump sum in accordance with § 55.1-500. This section shall not affect any spendthrift trust.

1926, p. 361; Michie Code 1942, § 5133a; Code 1950, § 55-277; 1973, c. 355; 1981, c. 612; 1990, c. 831; 2005, c. 681; 2019, c. 712.

Subtitle II. Real Estate Settlements and Recordation

Chapter 6. Recordation of Documents.

Article 1. General Provisions

§ 55.1-600. (Effective October 1, 2019) When and where writings recorded.

Except when it is otherwise provided, the circuit court of any county or city, or the clerk of any such court, or his duly qualified deputy, in his office, shall record any such writing as to any person whose name is signed thereto with an original signature, when it shall have been acknowledged by him, or proved by two witnesses as to him in such court, or before such clerk, or his duly qualified deputy, in his office, or the manner prescribed in Articles 2 (§ 55.1-612 et seq.), 3 (§ 55.1-616 et seq.), and 4 (§ 55.1-624 et seq.). When such writing is signed by a person acting on behalf of another, or in any representative capacity, the signature of such representative may be acknowledged or proved in the same manner.

Code 1919, § 5204; Code 1950, § 55-106; 1972, c. 130; 1994, c. 554; 2014, c. 338; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-601. (Effective October 1, 2019) Recording and indexing of certain documents showing changes of names.

A duly authenticated copy of a marriage license with the certificate of the person celebrating the marriage or a duly authenticated copy of a final order of divorce showing a change of name of a woman shall be entitled to be recorded in the clerk's office in which deeds are recorded of the county or city in which any land, or an interest in any land, that is owned by such woman lies and shall be indexed by such clerk in the grantor and grantee indices in his office.

1958, c. 220, § 55-106.1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-602. (Effective October 1, 2019) Presumption that recorded writings are in proper form.

A writing that is not properly notarized in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth shall not invalidate the underlying document; however, any such writing shall not be in proper form for recordation. All recorded writings shall be presumed to be in proper form for recording after having been recorded, and conclusively presumed to be in proper form for recording after having been recorded for a period of three years, except in cases of fraud.

1973, c. 161, § 55-106.2; 2008, cc. 117, 814; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-603. (Effective October 1, 2019) Deed of real estate investment trust.

Every deed that is to be recorded conveying property to or from a trust qualifying as a real estate investment trust shall include the complete address of the principal office of the trust. Failure to comply with the provisions of this section shall not invalidate any such deed.

1984, c. 474, § 55-106.4; 2002, c. 621; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-604. (Effective October 1, 2019) When clerk may refuse document to be recorded.

A clerk may refuse any document for recording in which the name of the person under which the document is to be indexed does not legibly appear or is not otherwise furnished.

1986, c. 277, § 55-106.5; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-605. (Effective October 1, 2019) Power of attorney; where recorded.

A power of attorney may be recorded in any county or city.

Code 1919, § 5203; Code 1950, § 55-107; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-606. (Effective October 1, 2019) Standards for writings to be docketed or recorded.

Except as provided in Article 4.1 (§ 17.1-258.2 et seq.) of Title 17.1, all writings that are to be recorded or docketed in the clerk's office of courts of record shall be an original or first generation printed form, or legible copy thereof, pen and ink or typed ribbon copy, and shall meet the standards for instruments as adopted under §§ 17.1-227 and 42.1-82 of the Virginia Public Records Act (§ 42.1-76 et seq.).

If a writing that does not conform to the requirements of this section or the standards for instruments adopted under § 17.1-227 and under § 42.1-82 of the Virginia Public Records Act (§ 42.1-76 et seq.) is accepted for recordation, it shall be deemed validly recorded and the clerk shall have no liability for accepting such a writing that does not meet the enumerated criteria in all the particulars.

1924, p. 144; Michie Code 1942, § 5210a; Code 1950, § 55-108; 1983, c. 291; 1986, c. 346; 2005, c. 744; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-607. (Effective October 1, 2019) When original of writing once recorded is lost, how copy recorded elsewhere.

If it is proper for any writing that has been recorded in a court of any county or city to be recorded in the court of another county or city and such writing, before being so recorded in such other court, is lost or mislaid, on affidavit of this fact, such court or the clerk of such court may record a copy of such writing from the records of another court, certified by its clerk, and the copy so recorded shall have the same effect as if the original had been recorded at the time the copy was recorded.

Code 1919, § 5212; Code 1950, § 55-109; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-608. (Effective October 1, 2019) Certifications of recordation upon copies of certain instruments and subsequent recordation in other county or city.

Whenever a mortgage or deed of trust instrument upon real or personal property located in more than one county or city is recorded in one such county or city, the party by whom it is so presented may deliver to the clerk of such court any number of executed and acknowledged copies of such instrument. The clerk shall fix to each such copy his certificate of recordation, certifying thereby the payment of the recordation tax levied by the Commonwealth, and shall return to the party presenting all such instruments all such copies except one, which shall be retained by the clerk for recordation in his office. Such certificate shall be conclusive evidence of the payment of the recordation tax indicated thereby, and the clerk in any other recording office in any other county or city shall accept for recordation in his office any such copy so certified.

1962, c. 301, § 55-109.1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-609. (Effective October 1, 2019) Correcting errors in deeds, deeds of trust, and mortgages; affidavit.

A. As used in this section, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Attorney" means any person licensed as an attorney in Virginia by the Virginia State Bar.

"Corrective affidavit" means an affidavit of an attorney correcting an obvious description error.

"Obvious description error" means an error in a real property parcel description contained in a recorded deed, deed of trust, or mortgage where (i) such parcel is identified and shown as a separate parcel on a recorded subdivision plat; (ii) such error is apparent by reference to other information on the face of such deed, deed of trust, or mortgage or on an attachment to such deed, deed of trust, or mortgage or by reference to other instruments in the chain of title for the property conveyed thereby; and (iii) such deed, deed of trust, or mortgage recites elsewhere the parcel's correct address or tax map identification number. An "obvious description error" includes (a) an error transcribing courses and distances, including the omission of one or more lines of courses and distances or the omission of angles and compass directions; (b) an error incorporating an incorrect recorded plat or a deed reference; (c) an error in a lot number or designation; or (d) an omitted exhibit supplying the legal description of the real property thereby conveyed. An "obvious description error" does not include (1) missing or improper signatures or acknowledgments or (2) any designation of the type of tenancy by which the property is owned or whether or not a right of survivorship exists.

"Recorded subdivision plat" means a plat that has been prepared by a land surveyor licensed pursuant to Article 1 (§ 54.1-400 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 54.1 and recorded in the clerk's office of the circuit court for the jurisdiction where the property is located.

"Title insurance company" has the same meaning as set forth in § 38.2-4601, provided that the title insurance company issued a policy of title insurance for the transaction in which the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage needing correction was recorded.

B. Obvious description errors in a recorded deed, deed of trust, or mortgage purporting to convey or transfer an interest in real property may be corrected by recording an affidavit in the land records of the circuit court for the jurisdiction where the property is located or where the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage needing correction was recorded. No correction of an obvious description error shall be inconsistent with the description of the property in any recorded subdivision plat.

C. Prior to recording a corrective affidavit, the attorney seeking to record the affidavit shall deliver a copy of the affidavit to all parties to the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage, including the current owner of the property; to the attorney who prepared the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage, if known and if possible; and to the title insurance company, if known, and give notice of the intent to record the affidavit and of each party's right to object to the affidavit. For an affidavit to correct an obvious description error in a deed as described in clause (a) of the definition of "obvious description error" in subsection A, notice and a copy of the affidavit shall also be provided to any owner of property adjoining a line to be corrected. The notice and a copy of the affidavit shall be delivered by personal service, sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, or delivered by a commercial overnight delivery service or the United States Postal Service, and a receipt obtained, to the last known address of each party to the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage to be corrected that (i) is contained in the land book maintained pursuant to § 58.1-3301 by the jurisdiction where the property is located and where the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage needing correction was recorded; (ii) is contained in the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage needing correction; (iii) has been provided to the attorney as a forwarding address; or (iv) has been established with reasonable certainty by other means, and to all other persons and entities to whom notice is required to be given. The notice and a copy of the affidavit shall be sent to the property address for the real property conveyed by the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage needing correction. If a locality is a party to the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage, the notice and a copy of the affidavit required by this subsection shall be sent to the county, city, or town attorney for the locality, if any, and if there is no such attorney, then to the chief executive for the locality. For the purposes of this section, the term "party" includes any locality that is a signatory. If the Commonwealth is a party to the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage, the notice and a copy of the affidavit required by this subsection shall be sent to the Attorney General and to the director, chief executive officer, or head of the state agency or chairman of the board of the state entity in possession or that had possession of the property.

D. If, within 30 days after personal service or receiving confirmation of delivery of the notice and a copy of the affidavit (i) to all parties to the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage, including the current owner of the property; (ii) to the attorney who prepared the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage, if known and if possible; (iii) to the title insurance company, if known; and (iv) to the adjoining property owners, if necessary, pursuant to subsection C, no written objection is received from any party disputing the facts recited in the affidavit or objecting to its recordation, the corrective affidavit may be recorded by the attorney, and all parties to the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage shall be bound by the terms of the affidavit. The corrective affidavit shall contain (a) a statement that no objection was received from any party within the period and (b) a copy of the notice sent to the parties. The notice shall contain the attorney's Virginia State Bar number. The corrective affidavit shall be notarized.

E. A corrective affidavit that is recorded pursuant to this section operates as a correction of the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage and relates back to the date of the original recordation of the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage as if the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage was correct when first recorded. A title insurance company, upon request, shall issue an endorsement to reflect the corrections made by the corrective affidavit and shall deliver a copy of the endorsement to all parties to the policy who can be found.

F. The clerk shall record the corrective affidavit in the deed book and, notwithstanding their designation in the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage needing correction, index the affidavit in the names of the parties to the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage as grantors and grantees as set forth in the affidavit. The costs associated with the recording of a corrective affidavit pursuant to this section shall be paid by the party that records the corrective affidavit. An affidavit recorded in compliance with this section shall be prima facie evidence of the facts stated in such affidavit. Any person who wrongfully or erroneously records a corrective affidavit is liable for actual damages sustained by any party due to such recordation, including reasonable attorney fees and costs.

G. The remedies under this section are not exclusive and do not abrogate any right or remedy under the laws of the Commonwealth other than this section.

H. An affidavit under this section may be made in the following form, or to the same effect:

Corrective Affidavit

This Affidavit, prepared pursuant to Virginia Code § 55.1-609, shall be indexed in the names of ________(grantor) and ________ (grantee), whose addresses are ________. The undersigned affiant, being first duly sworn, deposes and states as follows:

1. That the affiant is a Virginia attorney.

2. That the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage needing correction was made in connection with a real estate transaction in which ________ purchased real estate from ________, as shown in a deed recorded in the Clerk's Office of the Circuit Court of ________, in Deed Book ____, Page ____, or as Instrument Number ____; or in which real estate was encumbered, as shown in a deed recorded in the Clerk's Office of the Circuit Court of ________, in Deed Book ____, Page ____, or as Instrument Number ____.

3. That the property description in the aforementioned deed, deed of trust, or mortgage contains an obvious description error.

4. That the property description containing the obvious description error reads:

________________

________________.

5. That the correct property description should read:

________________

________________.

6. That this affidavit is given pursuant to § 55.1-609 of the Code of Virginia to correct the property description in the aforementioned deed, deed of trust, or mortgage and such description shall be as stated in paragraph 5 above upon recordation of this affidavit in the Circuit Court of ________.

7. That notice of the intent to record this corrective affidavit and a copy of this affidavit was delivered to all parties to the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage being corrected pursuant to § 55.1-609 of the Code of Virginia and that no objection to the recordation of this affidavit was received within the applicable period of time as set forth in § 55.1-609 of the Code of Virginia.

________________

(Name of attorney)

________________

(Signature of attorney)

________________

(Address of attorney)

________________

(Telephone number of attorney)

________________

(Bar number of attorney)

The foregoing affidavit was acknowledged before me

This ______ day of ______, 20__, by

________________

Notary Public

My Commission expires ________.

Notary Registration Number: ________.

I. Notice under this section may be made in the following form, or to the same effect:

Notice of Intent to Correct an Obvious Description Error

Notice is hereby given to you concerning the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage described in the corrective affidavit, a copy of which is attached to this notice, as follows:

1. The attorney identified below has discovered or has been advised of an obvious description error in the deed, deed of trust, or mortgage recorded as part of your real estate settlement. The error is described in the attached affidavit.

2. The undersigned will record an affidavit to correct such error unless the undersigned receives a written objection disputing the facts recited in the affidavit or objecting to the recordation of the affidavit. Your objections must be sent within 30 days of receipt of this notice to the following address:

________________

(Address)

________________

(Name of attorney)

________________

(Signature of attorney)

________________

(Address of attorney)

________________

(Telephone number of attorney)

________________

(Bar number of attorney)

2014, c. 523, § 55-109.2; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-610. (Effective October 1, 2019) Recordation of copy of lost deed previously recorded in what is now West Virginia.

In any case when any deed was duly recorded before the formation of the state of West Virginia in any county or city now within the limits of West Virginia and such deed, after diligent search, cannot be found, upon affidavit of that fact by any party in interest, his agent, or his attorney, any court of the Commonwealth in which, or the clerk's office of which, the original might be recorded, or the clerk of any such court, may record a copy of such deed from the records of the court of West Virginia, or the clerk's office of such court in which such deed is recorded, duly certified by the clerk of such court, under the seal of the court, and the recordation of such copy shall have the same effect as the recordation of the original.

Code 1919, § 5212; Code 1950, § 55-110; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-611. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2019, c. 326, cl. 1 and c. 786, cl. 2.

Article 2. Acknowledgments Generally

§ 55.1-612. (Effective October 1, 2019) Acknowledgment within the United States or its dependencies.

A circuit court of any county or city, or the clerk of any such court, shall record any writing as is described in § 55.1-600 as to any person whose name is signed to such writing, except that acknowledgment of contracts for the sale of real property shall require the seller or grantor of such real property to acknowledge his signature as provided in this section, except for contracts recorded after the death of the seller pursuant to § 64.2-523.

1. Upon the certificate of such clerk or his deputy, a notary public, a commissioner in chancery, or a clerk of any court of record within the United States or in Puerto Rico or any territory or other dependency or possession of the United States that such writing had been acknowledged before him by such person. Such certificate shall be written upon or attached to such writing and shall be substantially to the following effect:

I, ________, clerk (or deputy clerk or a commissioner in chancery) of the ________ court, (or a notary public) for the county (or city) aforesaid, in the state (or territory or district) of ________, do certify that E.F., or E.F. and G.H., and so forth, whose name (or names) is (or are) signed to the writing above (or hereto attached) bearing date on the ______ day of ____, has (or have) acknowledged the same before me in my county (or city) aforesaid.

Given under my hand this ______ day of ____.

2. Upon the certificate of acknowledgment of such person before any commissioner appointed by the Governor, within the United States, so written or attached, substantially to the following effect:

State (or territory or district) of ________:

I, __________, a commissioner appointed by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, for such state (or territory or district) of ________, do certify that E.F. (or E.F. and G.H., and so forth) whose name (or names) is (or are) signed to the writing above (or hereto attached) bearing date on the ______ day of ____ has (or have) acknowledged the same before me in my state (or territory or district) aforesaid.

Given under my hand this ______ day of ____.

3. Or upon the certificate of such clerk or his deputy, a notary public, a commissioner in chancery, or a clerk of any court of record within the United States or in Puerto Rico or any territory or other possession or dependency of the United States, or of a commissioner appointed by the Governor, within the United States, that such writing was proved as to such person, before him, by two subscribing witnesses thereto. Such certificate shall be written upon or attached to such writing and shall be substantially to the following effect:

State (or territory or district) of ________; county (or city) of ________: I, ________, clerk (or deputy clerk or a commissioner in chancery) of the ________ court, (or a notary public) for the county (or city) aforesaid, in the state (or territory or district) of ________ (or a commissioner appointed by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia for such state (or territory or district) of ________), do certify that the execution of the writing above (or hereto attached) bearing date on the ______ day of ____, by A.B. (or A.B. and C.D., and so forth), whose name (or names) is (or are) signed thereto, was proved before me in my county (or city or state, territory, or district) aforesaid, by the evidence on oath of E.F. and G.H., subscribing witnesses to such writing.

Given under my hand this ______ day of ____.

When authority is given in § 55.1-600 or in this section to the clerk of a court in or outside of the Commonwealth, but within the United States, such authority may be exercised by his duly qualified deputy.

Code 1919, §§ 5205, 5207; 1922, p. 868; 1924, p. 474; Code 1950, § 55-113; 1968, c. 639; 1972, c. 130; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-613. (Effective October 1, 2019) Acknowledgments outside of the United States and its dependencies.

A circuit court of any county or city, or the clerk of such court, shall also record any writing as is described in § 55.1-600 as to any person whose name is signed thereto upon the certificate under the official seal of any ambassador, minister plenipotentiary, minister resident, charge d'affaires, consul-general, consul, vice-consul, or commercial agent appointed by the government of the United States to any foreign country, or of the proper officer of any court of record of such country or of the mayor or other chief magistrate of any city, town, or corporation therein, that such writing was acknowledged by such person or proved as to him by two witnesses before any person having such appointment or before such court, mayor, or chief magistrate.

Code 1919, § 5206; Code 1950, § 55-114; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-614. (Effective October 1, 2019) Acknowledgments by persons subject to Uniform Code of Military Justice; validation of certain acknowledgments.

A circuit court of any county or city, or the clerk of such court, shall also record any writing as is described in § 55.1-600 as to any person whose name is signed thereto and who at the time of such acknowledgment:

1. Was a member of any of the Armed Forces of the United States, wherever they may have been;

2. Was employed by, or accompanying such armed forces outside the United States and outside the Canal Zone, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands; or

3. Was subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice of the United States outside of the United States, upon the certificate of any person authorized to take acknowledgments under 10 U.S.C. § 936(a), as amended.

Such certification shall be in substantially the same form as required by § 55.1-615.

Any acknowledgment taken before July 1, 1995, that is in substantial conformity with this section is hereby ratified, validated, and confirmed.

1964, c. 570, § 55-114.1; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-615. (Effective October 1, 2019) Acknowledgments taken before commissioned officers in military service.

A circuit court of any county or city, or clerk of such court, shall also record any writing as is described in § 55.1-600 as to any person whose name is signed thereto who at the time of such acknowledgment was in active service in the Armed Forces of the United States, or as to the consort of such person, upon the certificate of any commissioned officer of the army, navy, marine corps, air force, coast guard, any state national guard that is federally recognized, or other branch of the service of which such person is a member, that such writing had been acknowledged before him by such person. Such certificate shall be written upon or attached to such writing and shall be substantially to the following effect:

In the army (or navy, etc.) of the United States.

I, ________, a commissioned officer of the army (or navy, marine corps, air force, coast guard, or other branch of service) of the United States with the rank of lieutenant (or ensign or other appropriate rank) whose home address is ________, do certify that E.F. (or E.F. and G.H., and so forth), whose name (or names) is (or are) signed to the writing above (or hereto attached), bearing date on the ______ day of ____, and who, or whose consort, is a private (corporal, seaman, captain, or other grade or rank) in the army (or navy, etc.) of the United States, and whose home address is ________, has (or have) acknowledged the same before me.

Given under my hand this ______ day of ______.

Such acknowledgment may be taken at any place where the officer taking the acknowledgment and the person whose name is signed to the writing may be. Such commissioned officer may take the acknowledgment of any person in any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States or the consort of such person.

Every acknowledgment executed prior to July 1, 1995, in substantial compliance with the provisions of this section is hereby validated, ratified, and confirmed, notwithstanding any error or omission with respect to any address, grade, or rank.

1942, p. 426; Michie Code 1942, § 5205a; 1944, p. 25; 1948, p. 393; Code 1950, § 55-115; 1964, c. 129; 1972, c. 458; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

Article 3. Uniform Recognition of Acknowledgments Act

§ 55.1-616. (Effective October 1, 2019) "Notarial acts" defined; who may perform notarial acts outside the Commonwealth for use in the Commonwealth.

A. For the purposes of this article, "notarial acts" means acts that the laws and regulations of the Commonwealth authorize notaries public of the Commonwealth to perform, including the administering of oaths and affirmations, taking proof of execution and acknowledgments of instruments, and attesting documents.

B. Notarial acts may be performed outside the Commonwealth for use in the Commonwealth with the same effect as if performed by a notary public of the Commonwealth by the following persons authorized pursuant to the laws and regulations of other governments in addition to any other person authorized by the laws and regulations of the Commonwealth:

1. A notary public authorized to perform notarial acts in the place in which the notarial act is performed;

2. A judge, clerk, or deputy clerk of any court of record in the place in which the notarial act is performed;

3. An officer of the foreign service of the United States, a consular agent, or any other person authorized by regulation of the U.S. Department of State to perform notarial acts in the place in which the notarial act is performed;

4. A commissioned officer in active service with the Armed Forces of the United States and any other person authorized by regulation of the armed forces to perform notarial acts if the notarial act is performed for one of the following or his dependents: a merchant seaman of the United States, a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, or any other person serving with or accompanying a member of the Armed Forces of the United States; or

5. Any other person authorized to perform notarial acts in the place in which the notarial act is performed.

1970, c. 719, § 55-118.1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-617. (Effective October 1, 2019) Proof of authority of person performing notarial act.

A. If the notarial act is performed by any of the persons described in subdivisions B 1 through 4 of § 55.1-616 other than a person authorized to perform notarial acts by the laws or regulations of a foreign country, the signature, rank, or title and serial number, if any, of the person are sufficient proof of the authority of a holder of that rank or title to perform the notarial act. Further proof of his authority is not required.

B. If the notarial act is performed by a person authorized by the laws or regulations of a foreign country to perform the notarial act, there is sufficient proof of the authority of that person to act if:

1. Either a foreign service officer of the United States resident in the country in which the notarial act is performed or a diplomatic or consular officer of the foreign country resident in the United States certifies that a person holding that office is authorized to perform the notarial act;

2. The official seal of the person performing the notarial act is affixed to the document; or

3. The title and indication of authority to perform notarial acts of the person appears either in a digest of foreign law or in a list customarily used as a source of such information.

C. If the notarial act is performed by a person other than one described in subsections A and B, there is sufficient proof of the authority of that person to act if the clerk of a court of record in the place in which the notarial act is performed certifies to the official character of that person and to his authority to perform the notarial act.

D. The signature and title of the person performing the notarial act are prima facie evidence that he is a person with the designated title and that the signature is genuine.

1970, c. 719, § 55-118.2; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-618. (Effective October 1, 2019) What person taking acknowledgment shall certify.

The person taking an acknowledgment shall certify that:

1. The person acknowledging appeared before him and acknowledged he executed the instrument; and

2. The person acknowledging was known to the person taking the acknowledgment or that the person taking the acknowledgment had satisfactory evidence that the person acknowledging was the person described in and who executed the instrument.

1970, c. 719, § 55-118.3; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-619. (Effective October 1, 2019) When form of certificate of acknowledgment accepted.

The form of a certificate of acknowledgment used by a person whose authority is recognized under § 55.1-616 shall be accepted in the Commonwealth if:

1. The certificate is in a form prescribed by the laws or regulations of the Commonwealth;

2. The certificate is in a form prescribed by the laws or regulations applicable in the place in which the acknowledgment is taken; or

3. The certificate contains the words "acknowledged before me" or their substantial equivalent.

1970, c. 719, § 55-118.4; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-620. (Effective October 1, 2019) Meaning of "acknowledged before me.".

For the purposes of this article, "acknowledged before me" means:

1. That the person acknowledging appeared before the person taking the acknowledgment;

2. That the person acknowledging acknowledged he executed the instrument;

3. That, in the case of:

a. A natural person acknowledging, he executed the instrument for the purposes stated in the instrument;

b. A corporation, the officer or agent acknowledged he held the position or title set forth in the instrument and certificate, he signed the instrument on behalf of the corporation by proper authority, and the instrument was the act of the corporation for the purpose stated in the instrument;

c. A partnership, the partner or agent acknowledged he signed the instrument on behalf of the partnership by proper authority and he executed the instrument as the act of the partnership for the purposes stated in the instrument;

d. A person acknowledging as principal by an attorney-in-fact, he executed the instrument by proper authority as the act of the principal for the purposes stated in the instrument; or

e. A person acknowledging as a public officer, trustee, administrator, guardian, conservator, or other representative, he signed the instrument by proper authority and he executed the instrument in the capacity and for the purposes stated in the instrument; and

4. That the person taking the acknowledgment either knew or had satisfactory evidence that the person acknowledging was the person named in the instrument or certificate.

1970, c. 719, § 55-118.5; 1997, c. 801; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-621. (Effective October 1, 2019) Statutory short forms of acknowledgment.

The forms of acknowledgment set forth in this section may be used and are sufficient for their respective purposes under any law of the Commonwealth. The following forms shall be known as "Statutory Short Forms of Acknowledgment" and may be referred to by that name. The authorization of the forms in this section does not preclude the use of other forms.

1. For an individual acting in his own right:

State of ________

County or city of ________

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this (date) by (name of person acknowledged).

(Signature of Person Taking Acknowledgment)

(Title or Rank)

(Serial Number, if any)

2. For a corporation:

State of ________

County or city of ________

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this (date) by (name of officer or agent, title of officer or agent) of (name of corporation acknowledging) a (state or place of incorporation) corporation, on behalf of the corporation.

(Signature of Person Taking Acknowledgment)

(Title or Rank)

(Serial Number, if any)

3. For a partnership:

State of ________

County or city of ________

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this (date) by (name of acknowledging partner or agent), partner (or agent) on behalf of (name of partnership), a partnership.

(Signature of Person Taking Acknowledgment)

(Title or Rank)

(Serial Number, if any)

4. For an individual acting as principal by an attorney-in-fact:

State of ________

County or city of ________

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this (date) by (name of attorney-in-fact) as attorney-in-fact on behalf of (name of principal).

(Signature of Person Taking Acknowledgment)

(Title or Rank)

(Serial Number, if any)

5. By any public officer, trustee, or personal representative:

State of ________

County or city of ________

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this (date) by (name and title of position).

(Signature of Person Taking Acknowledgment)

(Title or Rank)

(Serial Number, if any)

1970, c. 719, § 55-118.6; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-622. (Effective October 1, 2019) Application of article; article cumulative.

A notarial act performed prior to June 26, 1970, is not affected by this article. This article provides an additional method of proving notarial acts. Nothing in this article diminishes or invalidates the recognition accorded to notarial acts by other laws or regulations of the Commonwealth.

1970, c. 719, § 55-118.7; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-623. (Effective October 1, 2019) Uniform interpretation.

This article shall be so interpreted as to make uniform the laws of those states that enact it.

1970, c. 719, § 55-118.8; 2019, c. 712.

Article 4. Deeds and Acknowledgments of Corporations

§ 55.1-624. (Effective October 1, 2019) Deeds of corporations; how to be executed and acknowledged.

All deeds made by corporations shall be signed in the name of the corporation by the president or acting president, or any vice-president, or by such other person as may be authorized to do so by the board of directors of such corporation, and, if such deed is to be recorded, the person signing the name of the corporation shall acknowledge such authority in the manner provided by § 55.1-625.

Code 1919, § 5208; 1920, p. 586; Code 1950, § 55-119; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 41; 1975, c. 500; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-625. (Effective October 1, 2019) Acknowledgments on behalf of corporations and others.

When any writing purports to have been signed on behalf or by authority of any person or corporation, or in any representative capacity whatsoever, the certificate of the acknowledgment by the person so signing the writing shall be sufficient for the purposes of this and §§ 55.1-600, 55.1-612, 55.1-613, and 55.1-615, and for the recordation of such writing as to the person or corporation on whose behalf it is signed, or as to the representative character of the person so signing the writing, as the case may be, without expressing that such acknowledgment was on behalf or by authority of such other person or corporation or was in a representative capacity. In the case of a writing signed on behalf or by authority of any person or corporation or in any representative capacity, a certificate to the following effect shall be sufficient:

State (or territory or district) of ________, county (or city) of ________,: I, ________, a ________ (here insert the official title of the person certifying the acknowledgment) in and for the state (or territory or district) and county (or city) aforesaid, do certify that ________ (here insert the name or names of the persons signing the writing on behalf of the person or corporation, or the name of the person signing the writing in a representative capacity), whose name (or names) is (or are) signed to the writing above, bearing date on the ____ day of ____, has (or have) acknowledged the same before me in my county (or city) aforesaid. Given under my hand this ____ day of ____.

Code 1919, § 5207; Code 1950, § 55-120; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-626. (Effective October 1, 2019) Corporate acknowledgment taken before officer or stockholder.

Any notary or other officer duly authorized to take acknowledgments may take the acknowledgment to any deed or other writing executed by a company or to a company or for the benefit of a company, although he may be a stockholder, an officer, or both, in such company, provided that he is not otherwise interested in the property conveyed or disposed of by such deed or other writing, and nothing herein shall be construed to authorize any officer to take an acknowledgment to any deed or other writing executed by such company by and through him as an officer or stockholder of such company, or to him for the benefit of such company.

Code 1919, § 5209; 1926, p. 340; Code 1950, § 55-121; 2019, c. 712.

Article 5. Validating Certain Acts, Deeds, and Acknowledgments

§ 55.1-627. (Effective October 1, 2019) Acts of notaries public, etc., who have held certain other offices.

All certificates of acknowledgment to deeds and other writings, taken and certified by notaries public and commissioners in chancery, and all depositions taken, accounts and reports made, and decrees executed by any notary public, commissioner in chancery, or commissioner of accounts, who, since January 1, 1989, may have held the office of county treasurer, sheriff, attorney for the Commonwealth, county clerk, commissioner of the revenue, superintendent of the poor, county surveyor, or supervisor shall be held and are hereby declared valid and effective in all respects if otherwise valid and effective according to the law then in force.

1920, p. 340; Michie Code 1942, § 5209c; Code 1950, § 55-122; 1976, c. 685; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-628. (Effective October 1, 2019) Validation of acknowledgments when seal not affixed.

When a certificate of acknowledgment was made prior to July 1, 1995, to any instrument in writing required by this chapter to be acknowledged and the notary or other official whether of this or some other state taking such acknowledgment failed to affix his official seal to such certificate of acknowledgment when a seal was necessary, the certificate of acknowledgment shall be as valid for all purposes as if such seal had been affixed, and the deed shall be, and shall since such date have been, notice to all persons as effectually as if such seal had been affixed, provided that such acknowledgment was in other respects sufficient.

1924, p. 359; Michie Code 1942, § 5207a; Code 1950, § 55-123; 1964, c. 57; 1976, c. 685; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-629. (Effective October 1, 2019) Acknowledgment taken by trustee in deed of trust.

All certificates of acknowledgment to deeds of trust made and certified prior to March 23, 1936, by persons being trustees in such deeds shall be held and are hereby declared valid and effective in all respects if otherwise valid according to the law then in force, and each such deed of trust that has been recorded in any clerk's office in the Commonwealth upon such a certificate shall be held to be duly and regularly recorded if such recordation is otherwise valid according to the law then in force.

Nothing in this section shall affect or diminish the rights or remedies of any person who intervened after the recordation of any such deed of trust but prior to March 23, 1936.

1936, p. 371; 1940, p. 129; Michie Code 1942, § 5207b; Code 1950, § 55-124; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-630. (Effective October 1, 2019) Acknowledgment taken by trustee in deed of trust; later date.

Any certificate of acknowledgment of any deed of trust, taken and certified prior to July 1, 1995, by a person named as trustee therein who was, at the time of taking the acknowledgment, an officer authorized by law to take acknowledgments of deeds, is declared to be as valid and of the same force and effect as if such person had not been a trustee in the deed of trust. Subject to the provisions of § 55.1-602, however, this section shall not affect any right or remedy of any third party that accrued after the recordation of the deed of trust and before July 1, 1995.

1948, p. 392; Michie Suppl. 1948, § 5207b1; Code 1950, § 55-125; 1952, c. 109; 1956, c. 706; 1958, c. 218; 1962, c. 367; 1966, cc. 137, 492; 1968, c. 4; 1972, c. 631; 1976, c. 685; 1980, c. 143; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-631. (Effective October 1, 2019) Certain acknowledgments taken and certified before July 1, 1995.

All certificates of acknowledgments to deeds and other writings taken and certified prior to July 1, 1995, by commissioners of deeds of states other than the Commonwealth, appointed or commissioned by the governor of such state, and by notaries public appointed or commissioned by the Governor of the Commonwealth, or appointed or commissioned under the laws of any state other than the Commonwealth, or any other officer authorized under this chapter to take and certify acknowledgments of deeds and other writings, that omit the citation of the date of the deed or certificate where it is clear from the content of the entire certificate and the instrument that has been acknowledged that the identity of the instrument or the certificate is the same, or if it can reasonably be inferred from the certificate of the person recording the instrument or other writing that the certificate refers to the same instrument, shall be held and are hereby declared valid and effective in all respects if otherwise valid according to the law then in force, or otherwise appear valid upon their face, and all such deeds and other writings that have been recorded in any clerk's office in the Commonwealth upon such certificates shall be held to be duly and regularly recorded if such recordation is otherwise valid according to the law then in force.

1968, c. 297, § 55-125.1; 1972, c. 631; 1976, c. 685; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-632. (Effective October 1, 2019) Acknowledgments taken by certain justices of the peace, mayors, etc.

All certificates of acknowledgment to deeds and other writings taken and certified prior to July 1, 1995, by justices of the peace, mayors of cities or towns, police justices, and civil and police justices who by virtue of their offices had the powers and authority of justices of the peace, when such justices of the peace, mayors, police justices, or civil and police justices are designated in the certificates of acknowledgments as mayors, police justices, or civil and police justices shall be held and are hereby declared valid and effective in all respects if otherwise valid according to the law then in force.

1920, p. 405; 1936, p. 466; Michie Code 1942, §§ 5207c, 5209b; Code 1950, § 55-126; 1976, c. 685; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-633. (Effective October 1, 2019) Acknowledgments taken by officers after expiration of terms.

All certificates of acknowledgment to deeds and other writings taken and certified prior to July 1, 1995, by commissioners of deeds of states other than the Commonwealth, appointed or commissioned by the governor of such state, and by notaries public appointed or commissioned by the Governor of the Commonwealth, or appointed or commissioned under the laws of any state other than the Commonwealth, or any other officer authorized under this chapter to take and certify acknowledgments to deeds and other writings who took and certified such acknowledgments after their term of office had expired, shall be held and are hereby declared valid and effective in all respects if otherwise valid according to the law then in force or appear to be valid upon their face, and all such deeds and other writings that have been recorded in any clerk's office in the Commonwealth upon such certificates shall be held to be duly and regularly recorded if such recordation is otherwise valid according to the law then in force.

1924, p. 57; 1926, p. 102; 1928, p. 996; Michie Code 1942, § 5209d; Code 1950, § 55-127; 1964, c. 384; 1966, c. 492; 1968, c. 4; 1972, c. 631; 1976, c. 685; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-634. (Effective October 1, 2019) Acknowledgments taken by notaries in service during World War I.

All certificates of acknowledgment to deeds and other writings taken and certified in the Commonwealth prior to June 18, 1920, by notaries public who served in the army, navy, or marine corps of the United States during World War I shall be held and are hereby declared valid and effective in all respects if otherwise valid according to the law then in force.

1920, p. 69; Michie Code 1942, § 5209a; Code 1950, § 55-128; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-635. (Effective October 1, 2019) Acknowledgments before foreign officials who failed to affix seals.

All certificates of acknowledgment to deeds and other writings made and certified prior to July 1, 1995, before officials in any foreign country authorized by law to take and certify such acknowledgments, to which such officials failed to affix their official seals, shall be held and are hereby declared valid and effective in all respects if otherwise valid according to the law then in force.

1918, p. 108; Michie Code 1942, § 5209f; Code 1950, § 55-129; 1976, c. 685; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-636. (Effective October 1, 2019) Acknowledgments taken by notaries in foreign countries.

All certificates of acknowledgment to deeds and other writings taken and certified prior to July 1, 1995, by notaries public residing in foreign countries shall be held and are hereby declared valid and effective in all respects if otherwise valid according to the law then in force.

1918, p. 506; 1936, p. 101; Michie Code 1942, §§ 5209e, 5209k; Code 1950, § 55-130; 1960, c. 285; 1972, c. 631; 1976, c. 685; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-637. (Effective October 1, 2019) Acknowledgments taken by officer who was spouse of grantee.

Any certificate of acknowledgment to a deed or other writings taken prior to July 1, 1995, by a notary public or other officer duly authorized to take acknowledgments who at the time of taking such acknowledgment was the spouse of the grantee in the deed or other instrument shall be held and is hereby declared valid and effective in all respects if otherwise valid according to the law then in force. All acknowledgments of conveyances to a fiduciary taken before an officer who is the husband or wife of such officer and who has no beneficial or monetary interest other than possible commissions or legal fees shall be conclusively presumed valid.

1926, p. 747; Michie Code 1942, § 5209g; Code 1950, § 55-131; 1952, c. 244; 1966, c. 137; 1972, c. 631; 1976, c. 685; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-638. (Effective October 1, 2019) Acknowledgment when notary certifies erroneously as to expiration of commission.

All certificates of acknowledgment to deeds and other writings taken and certified prior to July 1, 1995, by a notary public appointed or commissioned by the Governor, or appointed or commissioned under the laws of any state other than the Commonwealth, who mistakenly or by error certified that his commission had expired at the time he made such certificate, when in fact his commission had not at that time expired, shall be held and are hereby declared valid and effective in all respects if otherwise valid according to the law of the Commonwealth then in force, and the date and life of the notary's commission may be proved aliunde his certificate in any proceeding in which the capacity or authority of such notary is or shall be questioned, and all such deeds and other writings that have been recorded in any clerk's office in the Commonwealth upon such certificates shall be held to be duly and regularly recorded if such recordation is otherwise valid according to the law then in force.

1928, p. 996; Michie Code 1942, § 5209h; Code 1950, § 55-132; 1976, c. 685; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-639. (Effective October 1, 2019) Acknowledgments before officer of city or county consolidating, etc., prior to expiration date of commission.

All certificates of acknowledgment to deeds and other writings taken and certified by a notary public or other officer originally duly authorized to take acknowledgments in any city or county that consolidated with other political subdivisions or became a city, as the case may be, prior to the normal expiration date of the commission of such notary public or other officer are hereby declared to be valid to the same extent they would have been valid as if such notary public or other officer had been commissioned for such consolidated political subdivision or city to which any such county was transformed.

1952, Ex. Sess., c. 14, § 55-132.1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-640. (Effective October 1, 2019) Acknowledgments taken before notary whose commission has expired.

All certificates of acknowledgment to deeds and other writings taken and certified prior to March 22, 1930, by notaries public appointed or commissioned by the Governor who took and certified such acknowledgments after their term of office had expired shall be held and are hereby declared valid and effective in all respects if otherwise valid according to the law then in force, and all such deeds and other writings that have been recorded in any clerk's office in the Commonwealth upon such certificates shall be held to be duly and regularly recorded if such recordation is otherwise valid according to the law then in force.

1930, p. 572; Michie Code 1942, § 5209i; Code 1950, § 55-133; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-641. (Effective October 1, 2019) Acknowledgments taken before notary whose commission has expired; later date; intervening vested rights saved.

All certificates of acknowledgment to deeds and other writings taken and certified prior to July 1, 1995, by notaries public appointed or commissioned by the Governor who took and certified such acknowledgments after their term of office had expired shall be held and are hereby declared valid and effective in all respects if otherwise valid according to the law then in force, and all such deeds and other writings that have been recorded in any clerk's office in the Commonwealth upon such certificates shall be held to be duly and regularly recorded if such recordation is otherwise valid according to the law then in force; however, nothing in this section shall be so construed as to affect any intervening vested rights.

1934, p. 258; Michie Code 1942, § 5209j; Code 1950, § 55-134; 1952, c. 244; 1972, c. 631; 1976, c. 685; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-642. (Effective October 1, 2019) Acknowledgments taken before notary who was appointed but failed to qualify; vested rights saved.

All certificates of acknowledgment to deeds and other writings taken and certified prior to July 1, 1995, by a person who was appointed as a notary public by the Governor but who failed to qualify as provided by law shall be held and are hereby declared valid and effective in all respects if otherwise valid, and all such deeds and other writings that have been recorded in any clerk's office in the Commonwealth upon such certificates shall be held to be duly and regularly recorded if such recordation is otherwise valid according to law; however, nothing in this section shall be so construed as to affect any intervening vested rights.

1956, c. 713, § 55-134.1; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 92; 1972, c. 631; 1976, c. 685; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-643. (Effective October 1, 2019) Acknowledgments taken before a notary at large who failed to cite the jurisdiction in which the acknowledgment was taken; vested rights saved.

All certificates of acknowledgment to deeds and other writings taken and certified prior to July 1, 1995, by a person who was appointed a notary public for the Commonwealth at large by the Governor but who failed to include in such certificates of acknowledgment the county or city in which the notarial act was performed shall be held and are hereby declared valid and effective in all respects if otherwise valid, and all such deeds and other writings that have been recorded in any clerk's office in the Commonwealth upon such certificates shall be held to be duly and regularly recorded if such recordation is otherwise valid according to law; however, nothing in this section shall be so construed as to affect any intervening vested rights.

1984, c. 35, § 55-134.2; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-644. (Effective October 1, 2019) Deeds defectively executed by corporation.

Any deed of conveyance of real estate executed in the Commonwealth prior to July 1, 1995, by a corporation of the Commonwealth, when the certificate of acknowledgment of such deed fails to state the representative capacity of the party signing such deed for the corporation, shall be held and is hereby declared a valid and effective conveyance in every respect if otherwise valid according to the law in force at the time the deed was executed if such corporation, since making such conveyance, has been dissolved or otherwise gone out of existence.

1936, p. 328; Michie Code 1942, § 5208a; Code 1950, § 55-135; 1976, c. 685; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-645. (Effective October 1, 2019) Deeds to which corporate seal not affixed or not attested.

Any deed of conveyance of real estate executed within or outside of the Commonwealth by a corporation of the Commonwealth or any other state to which deed the seal of the corporation was not affixed, or to which the seal was affixed but was not attested to by the secretary or by some other authorized officer of the corporation, shall be held to be valid and is hereby declared a valid and effective conveyance in every respect if otherwise valid according to the law then in force.

1942, c. 698; Michie Code 1942, § 5208b; Code 1950, § 55-136; 1956, c. 18; 1962, c. 238; 1964, Ex. Sess., c. 20; 1966, c. 492; 1968, c. 4; 1972, c. 631; 1974, c. 130; 1975, c. 500; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-646. (Effective October 1, 2019) Acknowledgments of corporations taken by officers or stockholders.

No acknowledgment heretofore taken to any deed or any writing executed by a company, or for the benefit of a company, shall be held to be invalid by reason of the acknowledgment having been taken by a notary or other officer duly authorized to take acknowledgments who, at the time of taking the acknowledgment, was a stockholder, an officer, or both, in the company that executed the deed or writing, or for the benefit of which the deed or writing was executed, but who was not otherwise interested in the property conveyed or disposed of by such deed or writing, and such deed or other writing, and the recordation of such deed or other writing, shall be valid in all respects as if this section had been in force when it was executed.

Code 1919, § 5209; 1926, p. 340; Code 1950, § 55-137; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-647. (Effective October 1, 2019) Recordation certificate not signed by clerk.

A. All deeds, orders of probate, fiduciary accounts, and all other papers and writings received prior to July 1, 1995, by any clerk of any court of the Commonwealth and transcribed, or purported to be transcribed, in the proper book in such clerk's office provided by law for the transcribing and recordation of such deeds, orders of probate, fiduciary accounts, or other papers and writings, the certificate of receipt and of recordation of which had not received the attesting signature of such clerk on the date aforesaid, and which had not on such date been verified as required by law, shall prima facie be, and be deemed to be, as truly received, recorded, and verified as if the same had been so attested by the signature of such clerk.

B. Every clerk of any court of the Commonwealth in whose office any such deed, order of probate, fiduciary account, or other paper or writing as is mentioned in subsection A has been transcribed upon the proper book in such office, provided by law therefor, and which transcription has not received the attesting signature of the clerk who recorded the same, upon production before such clerk of the original of such deed, order of probate, fiduciary account, or paper or writing shall verify the accuracy of such transcription by a careful examination and comparison of such transcription with the original paper so recorded, and thereupon the clerk shall attest such transcription by signing thereto the name of the clerk who received the original paper for record and his own name as follows:

"Teste ________, former clerk per

________, his successor."

C. For such service the clerk shall receive a fee of 25 cents ($0.25), to be paid by the person for whose benefit the service was performed, and the record, so certified and verified, shall have the same effect as if it had been properly certified and verified by the clerk who received the same and who should have so certified and verified the same.

D. This section shall have a retroactive effect.

1920, p. 566; Michie Code 1942, § 3407a; Code 1950, § 55-137.1; 1976, c. 685; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2013, c. 263; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-648. (Effective October 1, 2019) Recordation certificate not signed by clerk; when clerk has died.

Any deed or other instrument or writing recorded before July 1, 1995, upon the proper deed book in the clerk's office of the circuit court of any county or any court of record of any city, when the clerk of such court failed to sign the certificate of recordation thereof and afterwards died, and any will or other instrument or writing recorded before July 1, 1995, upon the proper will book in any such clerk's office, when such clerk failed to sign the certificate of probate and recordation thereof and afterwards died, shall be as valid and of the same force and effect as if such certificate of recordation or certificate of probate and recordation had been signed by such clerk at the time such deed, will, or other instrument or writing was so recorded.

1942, p. 391; Michie Code 1942, § 3407a1; Code 1950, § 55-137.2; 1976, c. 685; 1984, c. 35; 1989, c. 602; 1995, c. 48; 2019, c. 712.

Article 6. United States Judgments; Bankruptcy

§ 55.1-649. (Effective October 1, 2019) Recordation of judgments affecting title to land.

The clerk of the court of any county or city in which there is any partition of land under any order, or any recovery of land under judgment, shall transmit to the clerk of the court of each county or city in whose office deeds to such land or any part thereof are recorded a copy of such order or judgment, and of such partition or assignment, and of the order confirming the same, along with such description of the land as may appear in the papers of the cause. The clerk of the court of such county or city shall record the same in his deed book and index it in the name of the person who had the land before and also in the name of the person who became entitled under such partition, assignment, or recovery.

Code 1919, § 5216; 1924, p. 454; 1946, p. 190; Code 1950, § 55-138; 1990, c. 831; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-650. (Effective October 1, 2019) Judgments of United States courts affecting realty.

A copy of any judgment or order of any United States court affecting the title to, boundary or possession of, or any interest in and to any real estate lying wholly or partly within the Commonwealth, when duly certified by the proper officer of any such court, may be filed with the clerk of the court in whose office deeds are recorded of the county or city in which the real estate so affected, or any part of such real estate, is situated, and when so filed shall be recorded by such clerk in the current deed book in his office and indexed in the names of the persons whose interests appear to be affected thereby, upon the payment of the same fee prescribed by law to be paid for the recordation of similar judgments or orders of state courts.

1934, p. 839; Michie Code 1942, § 5216b; Code 1950, § 55-140; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-651. (Effective October 1, 2019) Orders in bankruptcy.

Certified copies of orders of adjudication of bankruptcy made pursuant to the acts of Congress relating to bankruptcy, certified copies of orders of sale, orders confirming sales, and such other orders entered in bankruptcy proceedings as any party in interest may wish to have recorded in the appropriate clerk's office, or such orders as the referee or the judge having jurisdiction directs to be recorded, may be filed with the clerk of the court authorized to record deeds for the county or city in which any real estate owned by the bankrupt is situated. Such orders shall be recorded in the deed books and indexed in the name of the bankrupt. For each such recordation, the clerk shall be paid a fee as prescribed in subdivision A 2 of § 17.1-275.

1934, p. 839; Michie Code 1942, § 5216c; Code 1950, § 55-141; 1964, c. 337; 1994, c. 432; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-652. (Effective October 1, 2019) Certificates of commencement of case in bankruptcy.

Certificates of commencement of case signed by clerks of bankruptcy courts or clerks of United States district courts, issued pursuant to the acts of Congress relating to bankruptcy, may be filed with the clerk of the court authorized to record deeds for the county or city in which the property of the debtor, for which such certificate has been issued, is located. Such certificate shall be recorded in the deed books and properly indexed in the name of the trustee in bankruptcy in the grantee index and the debtor in the grantor index. For such recordation, the clerk shall receive a fee as prescribed in subdivision A 2 of § 17.1-275.

1988, c. 100, § 55-142.01; 1994, c. 432; 1996, c. 344; 2019, c. 712.

Article 7. Uniform Federal Lien Registration Act

§ 55.1-653. (Effective October 1, 2019) Where notices and certificates affecting liens to be filed.

A. Notices of liens, certificates, and other notices affecting federal tax liens or other federal liens shall be filed in accordance with this article.

B. Notices of liens upon real property for obligations payable to the United States and certificates and notices affecting the liens, including certificates of redemption, shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the circuit court of the county or city in which the real property subject to the lien is situated.

C. Notices of liens upon personal property, whether tangible or intangible, for obligations payable to the United States and certificates and notices affecting the liens shall be filed as follows:

1. If the person against whose interest the lien applies is a corporation or a partnership whose principal executive office is in the Commonwealth, as these entities are defined in the internal revenue laws of the United States, in the office of the clerk of the State Corporation Commission.

2. In all other cases, in the office of the clerk of the circuit court of the county or city (i) where the person against whose interest the lien applies resides or (ii) in the case of a trust or a decedent's estate, having jurisdiction over the qualification of the trustee or probate of the will, at the time of filing of the notice of lien.

1970, c. 76, § 55-142.1; 1986, c. 299; 1988, cc. 113, 388; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-654. (Effective October 1, 2019) Certification of notices and certificates.

Certification of notices of tax liens, certificates, or other notices affecting federal liens by the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States or his delegate or by any official or entity of the United States responsible for filing or certifying notice of any lien other than a tax lien entitles them to be filed, and no other attestation, certification, or acknowledgment is necessary.

1970, c. 76, § 55-142.2; 1988, cc. 113, 388; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-655. (Effective October 1, 2019) Duties of filing officers.

A. If a notice of federal lien, a refiling of a notice of federal lien, or a notice of revocation of any certificate described in subsection B is presented to the filing officer and:

1. He is the clerk of the State Corporation Commission, he shall cause the notice to be marked, held, and indexed in accordance with the provisions of § 8.9A-519 as if the notice were a financing statement as defined in § 8.9A-102; or

2. He is any other officer described in § 55.1-653, he shall endorse thereon his identification and the date and time of receipt and file it alphabetically or enter it in an alphabetical index showing the name and address of the person named in the notice, the date and time of receipt, the serial number of the district director in the case of tax liens, and the total amount appearing on the notice of lien, and he shall index and record the same where judgments are indexed and recorded.

B. If a certificate of release, nonattachment, discharge, or subordination of any lien is presented to the clerk of the State Corporation Commission for filing, he shall:

1. Cause a certificate of release or nonattachment to be marked, held, and indexed as if the certificate were a termination statement within the meaning of § 8.9A-513, except that the notice of lien to which the certificate relates shall not be removed from the files; and

2. Cause a certificate of discharge or subordination to be held, marked, and indexed as if the certificate were a release of collateral within the meaning of § 8.9A-512.

C. If a refiled notice of federal lien referred to in subsection A or any of the certificates or notices referred to in subsection B is presented for filing to any other filing officer specified in § 55.1-653, he shall permanently attach the refiled notice or the certificate to the original notice of lien and shall enter the refiled notice or the certificate with the date of filing in any alphabetical lien index on the line where the original notice of lien is entered.

D. Upon request of any person, the filing officer shall issue his certificate showing whether there is on file, on the date and hour stated therein, any notice of lien or certificate or notice affecting any lien filed under this article, naming a particular person, and if a notice or certificate is on file, giving the date and hour of filing of each notice or certificate. The fee for a certificate is $1. Upon request, the filing officer shall furnish a copy of any notice of federal tax lien or notice or certificate affecting a federal lien for a fee of 50 cents ($0.50) per page.

1970, c. 76, § 55-142.3; 1988, cc. 113, 388; 2014, c. 291; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-656. (Effective October 1, 2019) Fees of filing officers other than clerk of State Corporation Commission.

The fee to be paid to any officer other than the clerk of the State Corporation Commission for filing and indexing each notice of lien or certificate or notice affecting the lien or providing a copy of such notice or certificate of such notice is $5.

The officer shall bill the district directors of internal revenue or other appropriate federal officials on a monthly basis for fees for documents filed by them.

1970, c. 76, § 55-142.4; 1988, cc. 113, 388; 1993, c. 43; 1994, c. 432; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-657. (Effective October 1, 2019) Fees of clerk of State Corporation Commission.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of this article, the fees for filing, indexing, searching, or amending or for certificates of discharge or subordination or any other fee that may be chargeable by the clerk of the State Corporation Commission shall be the same as those permitted to be charged according to the schedule of fees maintained by the clerk of the State Corporation Commission.

1970, c. 76, § 55-142.5; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-658. (Effective October 1, 2019) Construction of article.

This article shall be so interpreted and construed as to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law of those states that enact it.

1970, c. 76, § 55-142.6; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-659. (Effective October 1, 2019) Certificates and notices affecting liens filed on or before July 1, 1970.

If a notice of lien was filed on or before July 1, 1970, any certificate or notice affecting the lien shall be filed in the same office.

1970, c. 76, § 55-142.8; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-660. (Effective October 1, 2019) No action to be brought against the State Corporation Commission or its staff.

No action shall be brought against the State Corporation Commission or any member of the staff of the State Corporation Commission claiming damage for alleged errors or omissions in the performance of the duties imposed by this article on the State Corporation Commission.

1970, c. 76, § 55-142.9; 2019, c. 712.

Article 8. Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act

§ 55.1-661. (Effective October 1, 2019) Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Clerk" means a clerk of the circuit court.

"Document" means information that is:

1. Inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form; and

2. Eligible to be recorded in the land records maintained by the clerk.

"Electronic," as defined in Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (§ 59.1-479 et seq.), means relating to technology having electrical, digital, magnetic, wireless, optical, electromagnetic, or similar capabilities.

"Electronic document" means a document received by the clerk in electronic form.

"Electronic notarization" means an official act by a notary public in accordance with the Virginia Notary Act (§ 47.1-1 et seq.) and § 55.1-618 with respect to an electronic document.

"Electronic signature," as defined in the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (§ 59.1-479 et seq.), means an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.

"eRecording System" is the automated electronic recording system implemented by the clerk for the recordation of electronic documents among the land records maintained by the clerk.

"Filer" means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, public body, public corporation, government, or governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality, or any other legal or commercial entity that files an electronic document among the land records maintained by the clerk.

"Land records document" means any writing authorized by law to be recorded, whether made on paper or in electronic format, that the clerk records affecting title to real property.

2006, c. 745, § 55-142.10; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-662. (Effective October 1, 2019) Validity of electronically filed and recorded land records.

A. If a law requires, as a condition for recording, that a land records document be an original, be on paper or another tangible medium, or be in writing, an electronic land records document satisfying this article satisfies the law.

B. If a law requires, as a condition for recording, that a land records document be signed, an electronic signature satisfies the law.

C. A requirement that a land records document or a signature associated with a land records document be notarized, acknowledged, verified, witnessed, or made under oath is satisfied if the electronic notarization of the person authorized to perform that act, and all other information required to be included, is attached to or logically associated with the land records document or signature. A physical or electronic image of a stamp, impression, or seal of the notary is not required to accompany an electronic signature.

2006, c. 745, § 55-142.11; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-663. (Effective October 1, 2019) Recording of electronic documents among the land records.

A. A clerk of a circuit court who implements an eRecording System shall do so in compliance with standards established by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency.

B. A clerk of a circuit court may receive, index, store, archive, and transmit electronic land records.

C. A clerk of a circuit court may provide for access to, and for search and retrieval of, land records by electronic means.

D. A clerk of a circuit court who accepts electronic documents for recording among the land records shall continue to accept paper land records and shall place entries for both types of land records in the same indices.

E. A clerk of a circuit court may convert paper records accepted for recording into electronic form. The clerk of circuit court may convert into electronic form land records documents recorded before the clerk of circuit court began to record electronic records.

F. Any fee or tax that a clerk of circuit court is authorized to collect may be collected electronically.

2006, c. 745, § 55-142.12; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-664. (Effective October 1, 2019) Uniform standards.

In consultation with the circuit court clerks, the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court, and interested citizens and businesses, the Virginia Information Technologies Agency shall develop standards to implement electronic recording of real property documents. The Virginia Information Technologies Agency shall consider standards and practices of other jurisdictions, the most recent standards promulgated by national standard-setting bodies, such as the Real Property Records Industry Association, the views of interested persons and other governmental entities, and the needs of localities of varying sizes, population, and resources.

2005, c. 744, § 55-142.13; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-665. (Effective October 1, 2019) Uniformity of application and construction.

In applying and construing this article, consideration shall be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to its subject matter among states that enact it.

2006, c. 745, § 55-142.14; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-666. (Effective October 1, 2019) Relation to Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act.

To the extent allowed by law, this article modifies, limits, and supersedes the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (15 U.S.C. § 7001, et seq.) but does not modify, limit, or supersede § 101(c) of that Act (15 U.S.C. § 7001(c)) or § 104 of that Act (15 U.S.C. § 7004), or authorize electronic delivery of any of the notices described in § 103(b) of that Act (15 U.S.C. § 7003(b)).

2006, c. 745, § 55-142.15; 2019, c. 712.

Chapter 7. Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act.

§ 55.1-700. (Effective October 1, 2019) Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Electronic delivery," for purposes of delivery of the disclosures required by this chapter, means sending the required disclosures via the Internet, provided that the sender retains sufficient proof of the electronic delivery, which may be an electronic receipt of delivery, a confirmation that the notice was sent by facsimile, or a certificate of service prepared by the sender confirming the electronic delivery.

"Notification" means a statement of the availability of any disclosures required by this chapter on the Real Estate Board's website or delivery of any such disclosures to the purchaser.

"Ratification" means the full execution of a real estate purchase contract by all parties.

"Real estate contract" means a contract for the sale, exchange, or lease with the option to buy of residential real estate subject to this chapter.

2017, c. 386, § 55-517.1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-701. (Effective October 1, 2019) Applicability.

The provisions of this chapter apply only with respect to transfers by sale, exchange, installment land sales contract, or lease with option to buy of residential real property consisting of not less than one nor more than four dwelling units, whether or not the transaction is with the assistance of a licensed real estate broker or salesperson.

1992, c. 717, § 55-517; 2007, c. 265; 2017, c. 386; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-702. (Effective October 1, 2019) Exemptions.

A. The following are specifically excluded from the provisions of this chapter:

1. Transfers pursuant to court order including transfers ordered by a court in administration of an estate, transfers pursuant to a writ of execution, transfers by foreclosure sale or by a deed in lieu of a foreclosure, transfers by a trustee in bankruptcy, transfers by eminent domain, and transfers resulting from a judgment for specific performance. Also, transfers by an assignment for the benefit of creditors pursuant to Chapter 18.1 (§ 8.01-525.1 et seq.) of Title 8.01 and transfers pursuant to escheats pursuant to Chapter 24 (§ 55.1-2400 et seq.).

2. Transfers to a beneficiary of a deed of trust pursuant to a foreclosure sale or by a deed in lieu of foreclosure, or transfers by a beneficiary under a deed of trust who has acquired the real property at a sale conducted pursuant to a foreclosure sale under a deed of trust or has acquired the real property by a deed in lieu of foreclosure.

3. Transfers by a fiduciary in the course of the administration of a decedent's estate, guardianship, conservatorship, or trust.

4. Transfers from one or more co-owners solely to one or more other co-owners.

5. Transfers made solely to any combination of a spouse or one or more persons in the lineal line of consanguinity of one or more of the transferors.

6. Transfers between spouses resulting from a decree of divorce or a property settlement stipulation pursuant to the provisions of Title 20.

7. Transfers made by virtue of the record owner's failure to pay any federal, state, or local taxes.

8. Transfers to or from any governmental entity or public or quasi-public housing authority or agency.

9. Transfers involving the first sale of a dwelling, provided that this exemption shall not apply to the disclosures required by § 55.1-704.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision A 9, the builder of a new dwelling shall disclose in writing to the purchaser all known material defects that would constitute a violation of any applicable building code. In addition, for property that is located wholly or partially in any locality comprising Planning District 15, the builder or owner, if the builder is not the owner of the property, shall disclose in writing whether the builder or owner has any knowledge of (i) whether mining operations have previously been conducted on the property or (ii) the presence of abandoned mines, shafts, or pits, if any. The disclosures required by this subsection shall be made by a builder or owner (a) when selling a completed dwelling, before ratification of the real estate purchase contract or (b) when selling a dwelling before or during its construction, after issuance of a certificate of occupancy. Such disclosure shall not abrogate any warranty or any other contractual obligations the builder or owner may have to the purchaser. The disclosure required by this subsection may be made on the disclosure form described in § 55.1-703. If no defects are known by the builder to exist, no written disclosure is required by this subsection.

1992, c. 717, § 55-518; 1993, c. 824; 1994, cc. 80, 242; 2005, c. 510; 2006, c. 706; 2007, c. 265; 2017, c. 386; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-703. (Effective October 1, 2019) Required disclosures for buyer to beware; buyer to exercise necessary due diligence.

A. The owner of the residential real property shall furnish to a purchaser a residential property disclosure statement for the buyer to beware of certain matters that may affect the buyer's decision to purchase such real property. Such statement shall be provided by the Real Estate Board on its website.

B. The residential property disclosure statement provided by the Real Estate Board on its website shall include the following:

1. The owner makes no representations or warranties as to the condition of the real property or any improvements thereon, or with regard to any covenants and restrictions, or any conveyances of mineral rights, as may be recorded among the land records affecting the real property or any improvements thereon, and purchasers are advised to exercise whatever due diligence a particular purchaser deems necessary, including obtaining a home inspection, as defined in § 54.1-500, in accordance with terms and conditions as may be contained in the real estate purchase contract, but in any event prior to settlement pursuant to such contract;

2. The owner makes no representations with respect to any matters that may pertain to parcels adjacent to the subject parcel, including zoning classification or permitted uses of adjacent parcels, and purchasers are advised to exercise whatever due diligence a particular purchaser deems necessary with respect to adjacent parcels in accordance with terms and conditions as may be contained in the real estate purchase contract, but in any event prior to settlement pursuant to such contract;

3. The owner makes no representations to any matters that pertain to whether the provisions of any historic district ordinance affect the property, and purchasers are advised to exercise whatever due diligence a particular purchaser deems necessary with respect to any historic district designated by the locality pursuant to § 15.2-2306, including review of (i) any local ordinance creating such district, (ii) any official map adopted by the locality depicting historic districts, and (iii) any materials available from the locality that explain (a) any requirements to alter, reconstruct, renovate, restore, or demolish buildings or signs in the local historic district and (b) the necessity of any local review board or governing body approvals prior to doing any work on a property located in a local historic district, in accordance with terms and conditions as may be contained in the real estate purchase contract, but in any event prior to settlement pursuant to such contract;

4. The owner makes no representations with respect to whether the property contains any resource protection areas established in an ordinance implementing the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (§ 62.1-44.15:67 et seq.) adopted by the locality where the property is located pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:74, and purchasers are advised to exercise whatever due diligence a particular purchaser deems necessary to determine whether the provisions of any such ordinance affect the property, including review of any official map adopted by the locality depicting resource protection areas, in accordance with terms and conditions as may be contained in the real estate purchase contract, but in any event prior to settlement pursuant to such contract;

5. The owner makes no representations with respect to information on any sexual offenders registered under Chapter 23 (§ 19.2-387 et seq.) of Title 19.2, and purchasers are advised to exercise whatever due diligence they deem necessary with respect to such information, in accordance with terms and conditions as may be contained in the real estate purchase contract, but in any event prior to settlement pursuant to such contract;

6. The owner makes no representations with respect to whether the property is within a dam break inundation zone. Such disclosure statement shall advise purchasers to exercise whatever due diligence they deem necessary with respect to whether the property resides within a dam break inundation zone, including a review of any map adopted by the locality depicting dam break inundation zones;

7. The owner makes no representations with respect to the presence of any stormwater detention facilities located on the property, or the existence or recordation of any maintenance agreement for such facilities, and purchasers are advised to exercise whatever due diligence they deem necessary to determine the presence of any stormwater detention facilities on the property, or any maintenance agreement for such facilities, such as contacting their settlement provider, consulting the locality in which the property is located, or reviewing any survey of the property that may have been conducted, in accordance with terms and conditions as may be contained in the real estate purchase contract, but in any event prior to settlement pursuant to such contract;

8. The owner makes no representations with respect to the presence of any wastewater system, including the type or size of the wastewater system or associated maintenance responsibilities related to the wastewater system, located on the property, and purchasers are advised to exercise whatever due diligence they deem necessary to determine the presence of any wastewater system on the property and the costs associated with maintaining, repairing, or inspecting any wastewater system, including any costs or requirements related to the pump-out of septic tanks, in accordance with terms and conditions as may be contained in the real estate purchase contract, but in any event prior to settlement pursuant to such contract;

9. The owner makes no representations with respect to any right to install or use solar energy collection devices on the property;

10. The owner makes no representations with respect to whether the property is located in one or more special flood hazard areas, and purchasers are advised to exercise whatever due diligence they deem necessary, including (i) obtaining a flood certification or mortgage lender determination of whether the property is located in one or more special flood hazard areas, (ii) reviewing any map depicting special flood hazard areas, (iii) contacting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or visiting the website for FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program or for the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation's Flood Risk Information System, and (iv) determining whether flood insurance is required, in accordance with terms and conditions as may be contained in the real estate purchase contract, but in any event prior to settlement pursuant to such contract;

11. The owner makes no representations with respect to whether the property is subject to one or more conservation or other easements, and purchasers are advised to exercise whatever due diligence a particular purchaser deems necessary in accordance with terms and conditions as may be contained in the real estate purchase contract, but in any event prior to settlement pursuant to such contract; and

12. The owner makes no representations with respect to whether the property is subject to a community development authority approved by a local governing body pursuant to Article 6 (§ 15.2-5152 et seq.) of Chapter 51 of Title 15.2, and purchasers are advised to exercise whatever due diligence a particular purchaser deems necessary in accordance with terms and conditions as may be contained in the real estate purchase contract, including determining whether a copy of the resolution or ordinance has been recorded in the land records of the circuit court for the locality in which the community development authority district is located for each tax parcel included in the district pursuant to § 15.2-5157, but in any event prior to settlement pursuant to such contract.

C. The residential property disclosure statement shall be delivered in accordance with § 55.1-709.

1992, c. 717, § 55-519; 1996, c. 379; 1998, cc. 384, 795; 2005, c. 510; 2006, cc. 247, 514, 533, 705, 767; 2007, cc. 265, 784; 2008, c. 491; 2009, c. 641; 2010, c. 518; 2011, c. 461; 2013, c. 357; 2015, cc. 79, 269; 2016, cc. 161, 323, 436, 505; 2017, cc. 386, 569; 2018, cc. 60, 86; 2019, cc. 390, 504, 712.

§ 55.1-704. (Effective October 1, 2019) Required disclosures pertaining to a military air installation.

The owner of residential real property located in any locality in which a military air installation is located shall disclose to the purchaser whether the subject parcel is located in a noise zone or accident potential zone, or both, if so designated on the official zoning map by the locality in which the property is located. Such disclosure shall be provided to the purchaser on a form provided by the Real Estate Board on its website. Such disclosure shall state the specific noise zone or accident potential zone, or both, in which the property is located according to the official zoning map.

2005, c. 510, § 55-519.1; 2007, c. 265; 2017, c. 386; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-705. (Effective October 1, 2019) Required disclosures; defective drywall.

Notwithstanding the exemptions in § 55.1-702, if the owner of a residential dwelling unit has actual knowledge of the existence of defective drywall in such dwelling unit, the owner shall provide to a prospective purchaser a written disclosure that the property has defective drywall. Such disclosure shall be provided to the purchaser on a form provided by the Real Estate Board on its website and otherwise in accordance with this chapter. For purposes of this section, "defective drywall" means all defective drywall as defined in § 36-156.1.

2011, cc. 34, 46, § 55-519.2; 2017, c. 386; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-706. (Effective October 1, 2019) Required disclosures; pending building or zoning violations.

Notwithstanding the exemptions in § 55.1-702, if the owner of a residential dwelling unit has actual knowledge of any pending enforcement actions pursuant to the Uniform Statewide Building Code (§ 36-97 et seq.) that affect the safe, decent, sanitary living conditions of the property of which the owner has been notified in writing by the locality, or any pending violation of the local zoning ordinance that the violator has not abated or remedied under the zoning ordinance, within a time period set out in the written notice of violation from the locality or established by a court of competent jurisdiction, the owner shall provide to a prospective purchaser a written disclosure that so states. Such disclosure shall be provided to the purchaser on a form provided by the Real Estate Board on its website and otherwise in accordance with this chapter.

2017, c. 386, § 55-519.2:1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-707. (Effective October 1, 2019) Permissive disclosure; tourism activity zone.

An owner of residential property located partially or wholly within a designated tourism activity zone established pursuant to § 15.2-982 may disclose in writing to any prospective purchaser or lessee of the property that the subject property is located within a tourism activity zone, with a description of potential impacts associated with the parcel's location in a tourism activity zone, including impacts caused by special events, parades, temporary street closures, and indoor and outdoor entertainment activities.

2013, c. 246, § 55-519.3; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-708. (Effective October 1, 2019) Required disclosures; property previously used to manufacture methamphetamine.

Notwithstanding the exemptions in § 55.1-702, if the owner of a residential dwelling unit has actual knowledge that such residential property was previously used to manufacture methamphetamine and has not been cleaned up in accordance with the guidelines established pursuant to § 32.1-11.7 and the applicable licensing provisions of Chapter 11 (§ 54.1-1100 et seq.) of Title 54.1, the owner shall provide to a prospective purchaser a written disclosure that so states. Such disclosure shall be provided to the purchaser on a form provided by the Real Estate Board on its website and otherwise in accordance with this chapter.

2013, c. 557, § 55-519.4; 2016, c. 527; 2017, c. 386; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-709. (Effective October 1, 2019) Time for disclosure; termination of contract.

A. The owner of residential real property subject to this chapter shall provide notification to the purchaser of any disclosures required by this chapter prior to the ratification of a real estate purchase contract or otherwise be subject to the provisions of subsection B. The disclosures required by this chapter shall be provided by the Real Estate Board on its website.

B. If the disclosures required by this chapter are delivered to the purchaser after ratification of the real estate purchase contract, the purchaser's sole remedy shall be to terminate the real estate purchase contract upon or prior to the earliest of (i) three days after delivery of the disclosure statement in person or by electronic delivery; (ii) five days after the postmark if the disclosure statement is deposited in the United States mail, postage prepaid, and properly addressed to the purchaser; (iii) settlement upon purchase of the property; (iv) occupancy of the property by the purchaser; (v) the purchaser's making written application to a lender for a mortgage loan where such application contains a disclosure that the right of termination shall end upon the application for the mortgage loan; or (vi) the execution by the purchaser after receiving the disclosure statement required by this chapter of a written waiver of the purchaser's right of termination under this chapter contained in a writing separate from the real estate purchase contract. In order to terminate a real estate purchase contract when permitted by this chapter, the purchaser must, within the times required by this chapter, give written notice to the owner by one of the following methods:

1. Hand delivery;

2. United States mail, postage prepaid, provided that the sender retains sufficient proof of mailing, which may be a certificate of service prepared by the sender confirming such mailing;

3. Electronic delivery; or

4. Overnight delivery using a commercial service or the United States Postal Service.

If the purchaser terminates a real estate purchase contract in compliance with this chapter, the termination shall be without penalty to the purchaser, and any deposit shall be promptly returned to the purchaser.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection B of § 55.1-713, no purchaser of residential real property located in a noise zone designated on the official zoning map of the locality as having a day-night average sound level of less than 65 decibels shall have the right to terminate a real estate purchase contract pursuant to this section for failure of the property owner to timely provide any disclosure required by this chapter.

1992, c. 717, § 55-520; 1993, c. 818; 2005, c. 510; 2007, c. 265; 2011, c. 82; 2017, c. 386; 2018, cc. 60, 86; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-710. (Effective October 1, 2019) Owner liability.

A. Except with respect to the disclosures required by § 55.1-704, the owner shall not be liable for any error, inaccuracy, or omission of any information delivered pursuant to this chapter if (i) the error, inaccuracy, or omission was not within the actual knowledge of the owner or was based on information provided by public agencies or by other persons providing information that is required to be disclosed pursuant to this chapter, or the owner reasonably believed the information to be correct, and (ii) the owner was not grossly negligent in obtaining the information from a third party and transmitting it. The owner shall not be liable for any error, inaccuracy, or omission of any information required to be disclosed by § 55.1-704 if the error, inaccuracy, or omission was the result of information provided by an officer or employee of the locality in which the property is located.

B. The delivery by a public agency or other person, as described in subsection C, of any information required to be disclosed by this chapter to a prospective purchaser shall be deemed to comply with the requirements of this chapter and shall relieve the owner of any further duty under this chapter with respect to that item of information.

C. The delivery by the owner of a report or opinion prepared by a licensed engineer, land surveyor, geologist, wood-destroying insect control expert, contractor, or home inspection expert, dealing with matters within the scope of the professional's license or expertise, shall satisfy the requirements of this chapter if the information is provided to the prospective purchaser pursuant to a request for such information, whether written or oral. In responding to such a request, an expert may indicate, in writing, an understanding that the information provided will be used in fulfilling the requirements of this chapter and, if so, shall indicate the required disclosures, or portions of such required disclosures, to which the information being furnished is applicable. Where such a statement is furnished, the expert shall not be responsible for any items of information, or portions of items of information, other than those expressly set forth in the statement.

1992, c. 717, § 55-521; 2005, c. 510; 2007, c. 265; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-711. (Effective October 1, 2019) Change in circumstances.

If information disclosed in accordance with this chapter is subsequently rendered or discovered to be inaccurate as a result of any act, occurrence, information received, circumstance, or agreement subsequent to the delivery of the required disclosures, the inaccuracy resulting therefrom does not constitute a violation of this chapter. However, at or before settlement, the owner shall be required to disclose any material change in the disclosures made relative to the property. If, at the time the disclosures are required to be made, an item of information required to be disclosed is unknown or not available to the owner, the owner may state that the information is unknown or may use an approximation of the information, provided that the approximation is clearly identified as such, is reasonable, is based on the actual knowledge of the owner, and is not used for the purpose of circumventing or evading this chapter.

1992, c. 717, § 55-522; 2007, c. 265; 2014, c. 386; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-712. (Effective October 1, 2019) Duties of real estate licensees.

A real estate licensee representing an owner of residential real property as the listing broker has a duty to inform each such owner represented by that licensee of the owner's rights and obligations under this chapter. A real estate licensee representing a purchaser of residential real property or, if the purchaser is not represented by a licensee, the real estate licensee representing an owner of residential real estate and dealing with the purchaser has a duty to inform each such purchaser of the purchaser's rights and obligations under this chapter. Provided that a real estate licensee performs those duties, the licensee shall have no further duties to the parties to a residential real estate transaction under this chapter and shall not be liable to any party to a residential real estate transaction for a violation of this chapter or for any failure to disclose any information regarding any real property subject to this chapter.

1992, c. 717, § 55-523; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-713. (Effective October 1, 2019) Actions under this chapter.

A. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter or any other statute or regulation, no cause of action shall arise against an owner or a real estate licensee for failure to disclose that the real property was the site of:

1. An act or occurrence that had no effect on the physical structure of the real property, its physical environment, or the improvements located thereon; or

2. A homicide, felony, or suicide.

B. The purchaser's remedies for failure of an owner to comply with the provisions of this chapter are as follows:

1. If the owner fails to provide any of the applicable disclosures required by this chapter, the contract may be terminated subject to the provisions of subsection B of § 55.1-709.

2. In the event that the owner fails to provide any of the applicable disclosures required by this chapter, or the owner misrepresents, willfully or otherwise, the information required in such disclosure, except as result of information provided by an officer or employee of the locality in which the property is located, the purchaser may maintain an action to recover his actual damages suffered as the result of such violation. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subdivision, no purchaser of residential real property located in a noise zone designated on the official zoning map of the locality as having a day-night average sound level of less than 65 decibels shall have a right to maintain an action for damages pursuant to this section.

C. Any action brought under this section shall be commenced within one year of the date the purchaser received the applicable disclosures required by this chapter. If the disclosures required by this chapter were not delivered to the purchaser, an action shall be commenced within one year of the date of settlement, if by sale, or occupancy, if by lease with an option to purchase.

Nothing contained in this chapter shall prevent a purchaser from pursuing any remedies at law or equity otherwise available against an owner in the event of an owner's intentional or willful misrepresentation of the condition of the subject property.

1992, c. 717, § 55-524; 1993, c. 847; 2005, c. 510; 2007, c. 265; 2017, c. 386; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-714. (Effective October 1, 2019) Real Estate Board to develop form; when effective.

An owner shall be required to make disclosures required by this chapter for real property subject to a real estate purchase contract that is fully executed by all parties. The Real Estate Board shall develop the form for signature by the parties advising the purchaser to review the residential property disclosure statement on the Board's website in accordance with § 54.1-2105.1. The Board may at any time amend the residential property disclosure statement and the form for signature by the parties as the Board deems necessary and appropriate.

1992, c. 717, § 55-525; 1993, c. 848; 2007, c. 265; 2018, cc. 60, 86; 2019, c. 712.

Chapter 8. Exchange Facilitators Act.

§ 55.1-800. (Effective October 1, 2019) Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Affiliated with" means that a person directly, or indirectly through one or more intermediaries, controls, or is controlled by, or is under common control with, the other specified person.

"Change in control" means any transfer within 12 months of more than 50 percent of the assets or ownership interests, direct or indirect, of the exchange facilitator.

"Commingle" means to mix together exchange funds with operating and other nonexchange funds belonging to or under control of the exchange facilitator in such a manner that a client's exchange funds cannot be distinguished from operating or other nonexchange funds belonging to or under control of the exchange facilitator.

"Deposit account" means a demand, time, savings, passbook, money market, certificate of deposit, or similar account maintained with a financial institution.

"Exchange Accommodation Titleholder" or "EAT" has the same meaning ascribed thereto in IRS Revenue Procedure 2000-37.

"Exchange client" means the taxpayer with whom the exchange facilitator enters into an agreement described in subdivision 1 of the definition of "exchange facilitator."

"Exchange facilitator" means a person that:

1. For a fee facilitates an exchange of like-kind property by entering into an agreement with a taxpayer:

a. By which the exchange facilitator acquires from such taxpayer the contractual rights to sell such taxpayer's relinquished property located in the Commonwealth and transfer a replacement property to such taxpayer as a qualified intermediary as that term is defined under Treasury Regulation § 1.1031(k)-1(g)(4);

b. To take title to a property located in the Commonwealth as an Exchange Accommodation Titleholder; or

c. To act as a qualified trustee or qualified escrow holder as those terms are defined under Treasury Regulation § 1.1031(k)-1(g)(3), except as otherwise provided in this definition; or

2. Maintains an office in the Commonwealth for the purpose of soliciting business as an exchange facilitator.

"Exchange facilitator" does not include (i) the taxpayer or disqualified person as that term is defined under Treasury Regulation § 1.1031(k)-1(k) seeking to qualify for the nonrecognition provisions of Internal Revenue Code § 1031; (ii) any financial institution or any title insurance company, underwritten title company, or escrow company that is merely acting as a depository for exchange funds or that is acting solely as a qualified escrow holder or qualified trustee as those terms are defined under Treasury Regulation § 1.1031(k)-1(g)(3), and is not otherwise facilitating exchanges; (iii) a person who advertises for and teaches seminars or classes or otherwise gives presentations to attorneys, accountants, real estate professionals, tax professionals, or other professionals where the primary purpose is to teach the professionals about tax deferred exchanges or train them to act as exchange facilitators; or (iv) an entity that is wholly owned by an exchange facilitator or that is wholly owned by the same person as the exchange facilitator and is used by such entity to facilitate exchanges or to take title to property in the Commonwealth as an EAT.

"Exchange funds" means the funds received by the exchange facilitator from or on behalf of the exchange client for the purpose of facilitating an exchange of like-kind property.

"Fee" means, for purposes of subdivision 1 of the definition of "exchange facilitator," compensation of any nature, direct or indirect, monetary or in-kind, that is received by a person or a related person as described in Internal Revenue Code § 267(b) or 707(b) for any services relating to or incidental to the exchange of like-kind property under Internal Revenue Code § 1031.

"Financial institution" means any bank, credit union, savings and loan association, savings bank, or trust company chartered under the laws of the Commonwealth or the United States whose accounts are insured by the full faith and credit of the United States of America, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, or other similar or successor programs and any direct or indirect subsidiary of such bank, credit union, savings and loan association, savings bank, or trust company.

"Person" means, in addition to the singular, persons, groups of persons, cooperative associations, limited liability companies, firms, partnerships, corporations, or other legal entities and includes the agents and employees of any such person.

"Transferee" means the party or parties to whom the ownership or control of the exchange facilitator has been transferred.

2010, c. 409, § 55-525.1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-801. (Effective October 1, 2019) Change in control.

An exchange facilitator shall notify all existing exchange clients whose relinquished property is located in the Commonwealth, or whose replacement property held under a Qualified Exchange Accommodation Agreement is located in the Commonwealth, of any change in control of the exchange facilitator. Such notification shall be made to the exchange facilitator's clients within 10 business days following the effective date of such change in control either by facsimile or email transmission, or by first-class mail, and by posting such notice of change in control on the exchange facilitator's website, if any, for a period ending not sooner than 90 days after the change in control. Such notification shall set forth the name, address, and other contact information of the transferees. Notwithstanding the above, if the exchange facilitator is a publicly traded company and remains a publicly traded company after a change in control, the publicly traded company shall not be required to notify its existing clients of such change in control.

2010, c. 409, § 55-525.2; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-802. (Effective October 1, 2019) Separately identified accounts, or qualified escrows or qualified trusts.

A. An exchange facilitator at all times shall:

1. Deposit the exchange funds in a deposit account that is a separately identified account, as defined in Treasury Regulation § 1.468B-6(c)(ii), and provide that any withdrawals from such separately identified account require the written authorization of the exchange client and written acknowledgment of the exchange facilitator. Authorization for withdrawals may be delivered by any commercially reasonable means, including (i) the exchange client's delivery to the exchange facilitator of the exchange client's authorization to disburse exchange funds and the exchange facilitator's delivery to the financial institution of the exchange facilitator's authorization to disburse exchange funds or (ii) delivery to the financial institution of both the exchange client's and the exchange facilitator's authorizations to disburse exchange funds; or

2. Deposit the exchange funds in a deposit account that is a qualified escrow or qualified trust as those terms are defined under Treasury Regulation § 1.1031(k)-1(g)(3).

B. The deposit account shall be with a financial institution, and the interest earned on such account shall accrue to the parties as provided in a written agreement between the exchange facilitator and the exchange client. However, the exchange client may expressly direct the exchange facilitator in writing to invest the exchange proceeds in an investment of the exchange client's choice, provided that the exchange facilitator provides written acknowledgment back to the exchange client that includes a confirmation of how the exchange proceeds will be invested.

2010, c. 409, § 55-525.3; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-803. (Effective October 1, 2019) Errors and omissions insurance; cash or letters of credit.

A. An exchange facilitator at all times shall:

1. Maintain a policy of errors and omissions insurance in an amount not less than $250,000 executed by an insurer authorized to do business in the Commonwealth; or

2. Deposit an amount of cash or provide irrevocable letters of credit equivalent to the sum of not less than $250,000.

B. The exchange facilitator may maintain errors and omissions insurance, cash, or irrevocable letters of credit in excess of the amounts required in this section.

2010, c. 409, § 55-525.4; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-804. (Effective October 1, 2019) Accounting for moneys and property.

A. Every exchange facilitator shall hold all property related to the exchange client, including the exchange funds, other property, and other consideration or instruments received by the exchange facilitator, on behalf of the client, except funds received as the exchange facilitator's compensation. Exchange funds shall be held in accordance with the requirements of § 55.1-802.

B. An exchange facilitator shall not:

1. Commingle exchange funds with the operating accounts of the exchange facilitator; or

2. Lend or otherwise transfer exchange funds to any person or entity affiliated with or related (as described in Internal Revenue Code § 267(b) or 707(b)) to the exchange facilitator, except that this subsection shall not apply to a transfer or loan made to a financial institution that is the parent of or related to the exchange facilitator or to a transfer from an exchange facilitator to an EAT as required under the exchange contract.

C. Exchange funds are not subject to execution or attachment on any claim against the exchange facilitator. An exchange facilitator shall not keep or cause to be kept any money in any financial institution under any name designating the money as belonging to an exchange client of the exchange facilitator unless the money equitably belongs to the exchange client and was actually entrusted to the exchange facilitator by the exchange client.

2010, c. 409, § 55-525.5; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-805. (Effective October 1, 2019) Prohibited acts.

A. A person who engages in the business of an exchange facilitator is prohibited from:

1. Making any material misrepresentations concerning any exchange facilitator transaction that are intended to mislead another;

2. Pursuing a continued course of misrepresentation or making false statements through advertising or otherwise;

3. Failing, within a reasonable time, to account for any moneys or property belonging to others that may be in the possession or under the control of the exchange facilitator;

4. Engaging in any conduct constituting fraudulent or dishonest dealings;

5. Committing any crime involving fraud, misrepresentation, deceit, embezzlement, misappropriation of funds, robbery, or other theft of property;

6. Materially failing to fulfill its contractual duties to the exchange client to deliver property or funds to the exchange client unless such failure is due to circumstances beyond the control of the exchange facilitator; or

7. Materially violating any of the provisions of this chapter.

B. A person who is an owner, officer, director, or employee of an exchange facilitator is prohibited from committing any crime involving fraud, misrepresentation, deceit, embezzlement, misappropriation of funds, robbery, or other theft of property; however, the commission of such crime by an officer, director, or employee of an exchange facilitator shall not be considered a violation of this chapter if the employment or appointment of such officer, director, or employee has been terminated and no clients of the exchange facilitator were harmed or full restitution has been made to all harmed clients within a reasonable period of time.

2010, c. 409, § 55-525.6; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-806. (Effective October 1, 2019) Penalty; attorney fees.

A. In any action brought under this chapter, if a court finds that a person has willfully engaged in an act or practice in violation of this chapter, the Attorney General, the attorney for the Commonwealth, or the attorney for the locality may recover for the Literary Fund, upon petition to the court, a civil penalty of not more than $2,500 per violation. For purposes of this section, prima facie evidence of a willful violation may be shown when the Attorney General, the attorney for the Commonwealth, or the attorney for the locality notifies the alleged violator by certified mail that an act or practice is a violation of this chapter and the alleged violator, after receipt of the notice, continues to engage in the act or practice.

B. In any action brought under this chapter, the Attorney General, the attorney for the Commonwealth, or the attorney for the locality may recover costs and reasonable expenses incurred by the state or local agency in investigating and preparing the case, and attorney fees.

2010, c. 409, § 55-525.7; 2019, c. 712.

Chapter 9. Real Estate Settlements.

§ 55.1-900. (Effective October 1, 2019) Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Disbursement of loan funds" means the delivery of the loan funds by the lender to the settlement agent in one or more of the following forms:

1. Cash;

2. Wired funds;

3. Certified check;

4. Checks issued by the Commonwealth or a political subdivision of the Commonwealth;

5. Cashier's check, or teller's check with equivalent funds availability in conformity with the federal Expedited Funds Availability Act (12 U.S.C. § 4001 et seq.);

6. Checks issued by a financial institution, the accounts of which are insured by an agency of the federal or state government, which checks are drawn on a financial institution located within the Fifth Federal Reserve District, the accounts of which are insured by an agency of the federal or state government;

7. Drafts issued by a state chartered or federally chartered credit union;

8. Checks issued by an insurance company licensed and regulated by the State Corporation Commission, which checks are drawn on a financial institution located within the Fifth Federal Reserve District, the accounts of which are insured by an agency of the federal government; or

9. Checks issued by a state or federal savings and loan association or savings bank operating in the Commonwealth, which checks are drawn on the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta.

"Disbursement of settlement proceeds" means the payment of all proceeds of the transaction by the settlement agent to the persons entitled to such proceeds.

"Lender" means any person regularly engaged in making loans secured by mortgages or deeds of trust on real estate.

"Loan closing" means the time agreed upon by the borrower and lender, when the execution of the loan documents by the borrower occurs.

"Loan documents" means the note evidencing the debt due the lender, the deed of trust, or the mortgage securing the debt due the lender and any other documents required by the lender to be executed by the borrower as a part of the transaction.

"Loan funds" means the gross or net proceeds of the loan to be disbursed by the lender at loan closing.

"Settlement" means the time when the settlement agent has received the duly executed deed, loan funds, loan documents, and other documents and funds required to carry out the terms of the contract between the parties and the settlement agent reasonably determines that prerecordation conditions of such contracts have been satisfied. A determination by a settlement agent that prerecordation conditions have been satisfied shall not control the rights and obligations of the parties under the contract, including whether settlement has occurred under the terms and conditions of the contract. "Parties," as used in this definition, means the seller, purchaser, borrower, lender, and settlement agent.

"Settlement agent" means the person responsible for conducting the settlement and disbursement of the settlement proceeds and includes any individual, corporation, partnership, or other entity conducting the settlement and disbursement of loan proceeds.

"Settlement service provider" means any person providing settlement services, as that term is defined under the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (12 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq.).

"Thing of value" means any payment, advance, funds, loan, service, or other consideration.

1980, c. 730, § 6.1-2.10; 1981, c. 86; 1984, c. 118; 1987, cc. 576, 577; 1990, c. 340; 1991, c. 254; 1999, c. 109; 2008, c. 514; 2010, c. 794, § 55-525.8; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-901. (Effective October 1, 2019) Applicability; effect of noncompliance.

A. This chapter applies only to transactions involving loans that (i) are made by lenders and (ii) will be secured by first deeds of trust or mortgages on real estate containing not more than four residential dwelling units.

B. Failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any loan documents.

1980, c. 730, §§ 6.1-2.11, 6.1-2.14; 1993, c. 530; 2010, c. 794, § 55-525.9; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-902. (Effective October 1, 2019) Duty of lender.

The lender shall, at or before loan closing, cause disbursement of loan funds to the settlement agent. In the case of a refinancing or any other loan where a right of rescission applies, the lender shall, within one business day after the expiration of the rescission period required under the federal Truth in Lending Act (15 U.S.C. § 1601 et seq.), cause disbursement of loan funds to the settlement agent. The lender shall not be entitled to receive or charge any interest on the loan until disbursement of loan funds and loan closing has occurred.

1980, c. 730, § 6.1-2.12; 1993, c. 530; 2010, c. 794, § 55-525.10; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-903. (Effective October 1, 2019) Duty of settlement agent.

The settlement agent shall cause recordation of the deed, the deed of trust, or the mortgage or other documents required to be recorded and shall cause disbursement of settlement proceeds within two business days of settlement. A settlement agent may not disburse any or all loan funds or other funds coming into its possession prior to the recordation of any instrument except (i) funds received that are overpayments to be returned to the provider of such funds, (ii) funds necessary to effect the recordation of instruments, or (iii) funds that the provider has by separate written instrument directed to be disbursed prior to recordation of any instrument. Additionally, in any transaction involving the purchase or sale of an interest in residential real property, the settlement agent shall provide notification to the purchaser of the availability of owner's title insurance as required under § 38.2-4616.

1980, c. 730, § 6.1-2.13; 1987, c. 576; 1992, c. 733; 1996, c. 883; 2010, c. 794, § 55-525.11; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-904. (Effective October 1, 2019) Prohibition against payment or receipt of settlement services kickbacks, rebates, commissions, and other payments; penalty.

A. No person selling real property, or performing services as a real estate agent, attorney, lay settlement agent, or lender incident to any real estate settlement or sale, shall pay or receive, directly or indirectly, any kickback, rebate, commission, thing of value, or other payment pursuant to any agreement or understanding, oral or otherwise, that business incident to services required to complete a settlement be referred to any person.

B. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit:

1. Expenditures for bona fide advertising and marketing promotions otherwise permissible under the provisions of the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (12 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq.);

2. The provision of educational materials or classes, if such materials or classes are provided to a group of persons or entities pursuant to a bona fide marketing or educational effort;

3. The payment to any person of a bona fide salary or compensation or other payment for services actually performed for the business of the settlement service provider; or

4. An employer's payment to its own bona fide employees for referrals of mortgage loan or insurance business. An employer's payment to its own employees for the referral of insurance business shall be subject to the requirements of subdivision B 8 of § 38.2-1821.1.

C. No person shall be in violation of this section solely by reason of ownership in a settlement service provider, where such person receives returns on investments arising from the ownership interest, provided that such person discloses in writing to the consumer an ownership interest in those settlement services, including such person's ownership percentage in the settlement service provider pursuant to the requirements of § 55.1-905.

D. Any person who knowingly and willfully violates this section is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. Any criminal charge brought under this section shall be by indictment pursuant to Chapter 14 (§ 19.2-216 et seq.) of Title 19.2.

1996, c. 883, § 6.1-2.13:1; 1999, c. 109; 2002, c. 599; 2010, c. 794, § 55-525.12; 2011, c. 82; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-905. (Effective October 1, 2019) Disclosure of affiliated business by settlement service providers.

Any person making a referral to an affiliated settlement service provider shall disclose the affiliation in accordance with the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (12 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq.). Such disclosure shall be provided regardless of the amount of the person's actual ownership interest in the affiliated provider. However, if the person's ownership interest is one percent or less of the capital stock of a corporation or entity with a class of securities registered under the federal Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. § 78a et seq.), the disclosure shall not be required. If the person's ownership interest is greater than one percent, then the disclosure shall include the percentage of ownership, or, if the person making the referral owns more than 50 percent of the affiliated business, the disclosure shall state that the settlement service provider is a subsidiary of the person making the referral.

1999, c. 688, § 6.1-2.13:2; 2010, c. 794, § 55-525.13; 2011, c. 82; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-906. (Effective October 1, 2019) Disclosure of charges for appraisal or valuation using automated or other valuation mechanism.

Any lender providing a loan secured by a first deed of trust or mortgage on real estate containing not more than four residential dwelling units shall disclose on the settlement statement or closing disclosure, as those terms are defined in § 55.1-1000, any fee charged to the borrower for an appraisal, as that term is defined in § 54.1-2009, and any fee charged to the borrower for a valuation or opinion of value of the property prepared using an automated or other mechanism prepared by a person who is not licensed as an appraiser under Chapter 20.1 (§ 54.1-2009 et seq.) of Title 54.1.

2008, c. 400, § 6.1-2.13:3; 2010, c. 794, § 55-525.14; 2016, c. 619; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-907. (Effective October 1, 2019) Penalty.

Any persons suffering losses due to the failure of the lender or the settlement agent to cause disbursement as required by this chapter shall be entitled to recover, in addition to other actual damages, double the amount of any interest collected in violation of § 55.1-902 plus reasonable attorney fees incurred in the collection of such damages and interest.

1980, c. 730, § 6.1-2.15; 2010, c. 794, § 55-525.15; 2019, c. 712.

Chapter 10. Real Estate Settlement Agents.

§ 55.1-1000. (Effective October 1, 2019) Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Association" means the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

"Closing disclosure" means the combined mortgage loan disclosure statement of final loan terms and closing costs prescribed under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 (RESPA)(12 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq.) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Regulation X (12 C.F.R. Part 1024) and Regulation Z (12 C.F.R. Part 1026).

"Commission" means the State Corporation Commission.

"Escrow" means written instruments, money, or other items deposited by a party with a settlement agent for delivery to other persons upon the performance of specified conditions or the happening of a certain event.

"Escrow, closing, or settlement services" means the administrative and clerical services required to carry out the terms of contracts affecting real estate. These services include placing orders for title insurance, receiving and issuing receipts for money received from the parties, ordering loan checks and payoffs, ordering surveys and inspections, preparing settlement statements or closing disclosures, determining that all closing documents conform to the parties' contract requirements, setting the closing appointment, following up with the parties to ensure that the transaction progresses to closing, ascertaining that the lenders' instructions have been satisfied, conducting a closing conference at which the documents are executed, receiving and disbursing funds, completing form documents and instruments selected by and in accordance with instructions of the parties to the transaction, handling or arranging for the recording of documents, sending recorded documents to the lender, sending the recorded deed and the title policy to the buyer, and reporting federal income tax information for the real estate sale to the Internal Revenue Service.

"Lay real estate settlement agent" means a person who (i) is not licensed as an attorney under Chapter 39 (§ 54.1-3900 et seq.) of Title 54.1; (ii) is not a party to the real estate transaction; (iii) provides escrow, closing, or settlement services in connection with a transaction related to any real estate in the Commonwealth; and (iv) is listed as the settlement agent on the settlement statement or closing disclosure for such transaction.

"Licensing authority" means the (i) Commission acting pursuant to this chapter, Title 6.2, Title 12.1, or Title 38.2; (ii) the Virginia State Bar acting pursuant to this chapter or Chapter 39 (§ 54.1-3900 et seq.) of Title 54.1; or (iii) the Virginia Real Estate Board acting pursuant to this chapter or Chapter 21 (§ 54.1-2100 et seq.) of Title 54.1.

"Party to the real estate transaction" means, with respect to that real estate transaction, a lender, seller, purchaser, or borrower and, with respect to a corporate purchaser, any entity that is a subsidiary of or under common ownership with that corporate purchaser.

"Settlement agent" means a person, other than a party to the real estate transaction, that provides escrow, closing, or settlement services in connection with a transaction related to real estate in the Commonwealth and that is listed as the settlement agent on the settlement statement or closing disclosure for such transaction. Any person, other than a party to the transaction, who conducts the settlement conference and receives or handles money shall be deemed a "settlement agent" subject to the applicable requirements of this chapter.

"Settlement statement" means the statement of receipts and disbursements for a transaction related to real estate, including a statement prescribed under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 (RESPA)(12 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq.), as amended, and the regulations thereunder.

1997, c. 716, § 6.1-2.20; 1998, cc. 69, 598; 1999, c. 647, § 6.1-2.32; 2002, c. 375; 2010, c. 794, § 55-525.16; 2016, c. 619; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1001. (Effective October 1, 2019) Limitation on applicability of chapter.

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent a person licensed under Chapter 21 (§ 54.1-2100 et seq.) of Title 54.1, or such licensee's employees or independent contractors, from performing escrow, closing, or settlement services to facilitate the settlement of a transaction in which the licensee is involved without complying with the provisions of this chapter, so long as the licensee, the licensee's employees, or independent contractors are not named as the settlement agent on the settlement statement or closing disclosure and the licensee is otherwise not prohibited from performing such services by law or regulation.

1997, c. 716, § 6.1-2.19; 1998, cc. 69, 162, 736; 1999, c. 647, § 6.1-2.30; 2010, c. 794, § 55-525.17; 2016, c. 619; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1002. (Effective October 1, 2019) Scope of chapter; lay real estate settlement agents.

A. Except as provided in subsection B, this chapter applies only to transactions involving the purchase of or lending on the security of real estate located in the Commonwealth containing not more than four residential dwelling units.

B. Notwithstanding any rule of court or other provision of this chapter to the contrary:

1. A lay real estate settlement agent may provide escrow, closing, and settlement services for any real property located within the Commonwealth, and receive compensation for such services, provided that he is registered pursuant to and is in compliance with the provisions of this chapter with the exception of subsection A; and

2. A party to a real estate transaction involving the purchase of or lending on the security of real estate located in the Commonwealth containing more than four residential dwelling units shall have the same authority as a party to a real estate transaction as is provided pursuant to subsection B of § 55.1-1003.

1997, c. 716, § 6.1-2.19; 1998, cc. 69, 162, 736; 1999, c. 647, § 6.1-2.32; 2010, c. 794, § 55-525.18; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1003. (Effective October 1, 2019) Persons who may act as a settlement agent.

A. A person shall not act in the capacity of a settlement agent, and a lender, seller, purchaser or borrower may not contract with any person to act in the capacity of a settlement agent, with respect to real estate settlements in the Commonwealth unless the person has not been convicted of a felony, unless such person has had his civil rights restored by the Governor or been granted a writ of actual innocence, and is either:

1. Licensed as an attorney under Chapter 39 (§ 54.1-3900 et seq.) of Title 54.1;

2. Licensed as a title insurance company under Title 38.2;

3. Licensed as a title insurance agent under Title 38.2 and is appointed by a title insurance company licensed in the Commonwealth pursuant to Chapter 18 (§ 38.2-1800 et seq.) of Title 38.2;

4. Licensed as a real estate broker under Chapter 21 (§ 54.1-2100 et seq.) of Title 54.1;

5. A financial institution authorized to do business in the Commonwealth under any of the provisions of Title 6.2 or under federal law; or

6. A subsidiary or affiliate of a financial institution described in subdivision 5.

Any person described in subdivisions 1 through 6 not acting in the capacity of a settlement agent shall not be subject to the provisions of this chapter.

B. Notwithstanding any rule of court to the contrary, a settlement agent operating in compliance with the requirements of this chapter or a party to the real estate transaction may provide escrow, closing, or settlement services and receive compensation for such services.

1997, c. 716, § 6.1-2.21; 1998, c. 69; 2000, c. 549; 2002, c. 464; 2007, c. 898; 2008, c. 92; 2010, c. 794, § 55-525.19; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1004. (Effective October 1, 2019) Duties of settlement agents.

A. A settlement agent shall exercise reasonable care and comply with all applicable requirements of this chapter and its licensing authority regarding licensing, financial responsibility, errors and omissions or malpractice insurance policies, fidelity bonds, employee dishonesty insurance policies, audits, escrow account analyses, and record retention.

B. A settlement agent who is not (i) a person described in subdivision A 5 of § 55.1-1003 or (ii) a title insurance company as defined in § 38.2-4601 shall maintain the following to the satisfaction of the appropriate licensing authority:

1. An errors and omissions or malpractice insurance policy providing a minimum of $250,000 in coverage;

2. A blanket fidelity bond or employee dishonesty insurance policy covering persons employed by the settlement agent providing a minimum of $100,000 in coverage. When the settlement agent has no employees except the owners, partners, shareholders, or members, the settlement agent may apply to the appropriate licensing authority for a waiver of this fidelity bond or employee dishonesty requirement; and

3. A surety bond of not less than $200,000.

C. A settlement agent, other than an attorney or a title insurance company if such company's financial statements are audited annually by an independent certified public accountant, shall, at its expense, have an audit of its escrow accounts conducted by an independent certified public accountant at least once each consecutive 12-month period. The appropriate licensing authority shall require the settlement agent to provide a copy of its audit report to the licensing authority no later than 60 days after the date on which the audit is completed. A settlement agent that is a licensed title insurance agent under Title 38.2 shall also provide a copy of the audit report to each title insurance company that it represents. In lieu of such annual audit, a settlement agent that is licensed as a title insurance agent under Title 38.2 shall allow each title insurance company for which it has an appointment to conduct an analysis of its escrow accounts in accordance with regulations adopted by the Commission or guidelines issued by the Bureau of Insurance of the Commission, as appropriate, at least once each consecutive 12-month period, and each title insurance company conducting such analysis shall submit a copy of its analysis report to the appropriate licensing authority no later than 60 days after the date on which the analysis is completed. With the consent of the title insurance agent, a title insurance company may share the results of its analysis with other title insurance companies that will accept the same in lieu of conducting a separate analysis. A title insurance company shall retain a copy of the analysis or audit report, as applicable, for each title insurance agent it has appointed and such reports and other records of the insurance company's activities as a settlement agent shall be made available to the appropriate licensing authority when examinations are conducted pursuant to provisions in Title 38.2.

1997, c. 716, § 6.1-2.21; 1998, c. 69; 2000, c. 549; 2002, c. 464; 2007, c. 898; 2008, c. 92; 2010, c. 794, § 55-525.20; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1005. (Effective October 1, 2019) Persons prohibited from assisting or being employed by settlement agents.

A. A person who has been convicted of a felony involving fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation shall not assist a settlement agent in the performance of escrow, closing, or settlement services involving the receipt or disbursement of funds from real estate settlements in the Commonwealth.

B. A settlement agent shall not employ a person who has been convicted of a felony involving fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation in an administrative or clerical capacity that involves the receipt or disbursement of funds from real estate settlements in the Commonwealth.

1997, c. 716, § 6.1-2.21; 1998, c. 69; 2000, c. 549; 2002, c. 464; 2007, c. 898; 2008, c. 92; 2010, c. 794, § 55-525.21; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1006. (Effective October 1, 2019) Choice of settlement agent.

A purchaser or borrower in a transaction related to real estate in the Commonwealth shall have the right to select the settlement agent to provide escrow, closing, or settlement services in connection with the transaction. The seller in such a transaction may not require the use of a particular settlement agent as a condition of the sale of the property.

2009, c. 140, § 6.1-2.21:1; 2010, c. 794, § 55-525.22; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1007. (Effective October 1, 2019) Disclosure.

All contracts involving the purchase of real estate containing not more than four residential dwelling units shall include in at least 10-point boldface type the following language:

"Choice of Settlement Agent: Chapter 10 (§ 55.1-1000 et seq.) of Title 55.1 of the Code of Virginia provides that the purchaser or borrower has the right to select the settlement agent to handle the closing of this transaction. The settlement agent's role in closing this transaction involves the coordination of numerous administrative and clerical functions relating to the collection of documents and the collection and disbursement of funds required to carry out the terms of the contract between the parties. If part of the purchase price is financed, the lender for the purchaser will instruct the settlement agent as to the signing and recording of loan documents and the disbursement of loan proceeds. No settlement agent can provide legal advice to any party to the transaction except a settlement agent who is engaged in the private practice of law in Virginia and who has been retained or engaged by a party to the transaction for the purpose of providing legal services to that party.

"Variation by agreement: The provisions of Chapter 10 (§ 55.1-1000 et seq.) of Title 55.1 of the Code of Virginia may not be varied by agreement, and rights conferred by this chapter may not be waived. The seller may not require the use of a particular settlement agent as a condition of the sale of the property.

"Escrow, closing, and settlement services guidelines: The Virginia State Bar issues guidelines to help settlement agents avoid and prevent the unauthorized practice of law in connection with furnishing escrow, settlement, or closing services. As a party to a real estate transaction, the purchaser or borrower is entitled to receive a copy of these guidelines from his settlement agent, upon request, in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 10 (§ 55.1-1000 et seq.) of Title 55.1 of the Code of Virginia."

1997, c. 716, § 6.1-2.22; 2009, c. 140; 2010, c. 794, § 55-525.23; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1008. (Effective October 1, 2019) Conditions for providing escrow, closing, or settlement services and for maintaining escrow accounts.

A. All funds deposited with the settlement agent in connection with an escrow, settlement, or closing shall be handled in a fiduciary capacity and submitted for collection to or deposited in a separate fiduciary trust account or accounts in a financial institution authorized to do business in the Commonwealth no later than the close of the second business day, in accordance with the following requirements:

1. The funds shall be the property of the person entitled to them under the provisions of the escrow, settlement, or closing agreement and shall be segregated for each depository by escrow, settlement, or closing in the records of the settlement agent in a manner that permits the funds to be identified on an individual basis; and

2. The funds shall be applied only in accordance with the terms of the individual instructions or agreements under which the funds were accepted.

B. Funds held in an escrow account shall be disbursed only pursuant to a written instruction or agreement specifying how and to whom such funds may be disbursed. Funds payable to persons other than the settlement agent shall be disbursed in accordance with § 55.1-903, except:

1. Title insurance premiums payable to title insurers under § 38.2-1813 or to title insurance agents. Such title insurance premiums payable to title insurers and agents may be (i) held in the settlement agent's settlement escrow account, identified and itemized by file name or file number, as a file with a balance; (ii) disbursed in the form of a check drawn upon the settlement escrow account payable to the title insurer or agent but maintained within the settlement file of the settlement agent; or (iii) transferred within two business days into a separate title insurance premium escrow account, which account shall be identified as such and be separate from the business or personal funds of the settlement agent. These transferred title insurance premium funds shall be itemized and identified within the separate title insurance premium escrow account. All title insurance premiums payable to title insurers by title insurance agents serving as settlement agents shall be paid in the ordinary course of business as required by subsection A of § 38.2-1813; and

2. Escrows held by the settlement agent pursuant to written instruction or agreement. A settlement statement or closing disclosure that has been signed by the seller and the purchaser or borrower shall be deemed sufficient to satisfy the requirement of this subsection.

C. A settlement agent may not retain any interest received on funds deposited in connection with any escrow, settlement, or closing. An attorney settlement agent shall maintain escrow accounts in accordance with applicable rules of the Virginia State Bar and the Supreme Court of Virginia.

D. Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to prohibit the recording of documents prior to the time funds are available for disbursement with respect to a transaction, provided that all parties consent to such recordation.

E. All settlement statements or closing disclosures for transactions related to real estate governed by this chapter shall be in writing and identify, by name and business address, the settlement agent.

F. Nothing in this section is intended to amend, alter, or supersede other sections of this chapter, or the laws of the Commonwealth or the United States, regarding the duties and obligations of the settlement agent in maintaining escrow accounts.

1997, c. 716, § 6.1-2.23; 1998, c. 69; 2001, cc. 316, 512; 2010, c. 794, § 55-525.24; 2016, c. 619; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1009. (Effective October 1, 2019) Falsifying settlement statements prohibited.

No settlement agent shall intentionally make any materially false or misleading statement or entry on a settlement statement or closing disclosure. An estimate of charges made in good faith by a settlement agent, and indicated as such on the settlement statement or closing disclosure, shall not be deemed to be a violation of this section.

2000, c. 549, § 6.1-2.23:1; 2010, c. 794, § 55-525.25; 2016, c. 619; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1010. (Effective October 1, 2019) Separate charge for reporting transactions limited.

No settlement agent shall charge any party to a real estate transaction, as a separate item on a settlement statement or closing disclosure, a sum exceeding $10 for complying with any requirement imposed on the settlement agent by § 58.1-316 or 58.1-317.

2005, cc. 734, 780, § 6.1-2.23:2; 2010, c. 794, § 55-525.26; 2016, c. 619; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1011. (Effective October 1, 2019) Record retention requirements.

The settlement agent shall maintain sufficient records of its affairs so that the appropriate licensing authority may adequately ensure that the settlement agent is in compliance with all provisions of this chapter. The settlement agent shall retain records pertaining to each settlement handled for a minimum of five years after the settlement is completed. The appropriate licensing authority may prescribe the specific record entries and documents to be kept.

1997, c. 716, § 6.1-2.24; 2010, c. 794, § 55-525.27; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1012. (Effective October 1, 2019) Regulations and orders.

Except as provided in § 55.1-1014, the appropriate licensing authority may issue summonses, subpoenas, rules, regulations, and orders, including educational requirements, consistent with and necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.

1997, c. 716, § 6.1-2.25; 2004, cc. 336, 597; 2010, c. 794, § 55-525.28; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1013. (Effective October 1, 2019) Accounting by title insurance companies.

A title insurance company domiciled in the Commonwealth or acting in the capacity of a settlement agent pursuant to this chapter shall account for funds held and income derived from escrow, closing, or settlement services in accordance with the applicable instructions of, and the accounting practices and procedures manuals adopted by, the Association when filing the annual statements and reports required under Chapter 13 (§ 38.2-1300 et seq.) of Title 38.2.

1997, c. 716, § 6.1-2.25; 2004, cc. 336, 597; 2010, c. 794, § 55-525.29; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1014. (Effective October 1, 2019, until January 1, 2021) Settlement agent registration requirements and compliance with unauthorized practice of law guidelines; civil penalty.

A. Every settlement agent subject to the provisions of this chapter shall be registered as such with the appropriate licensing authority. In conjunction therewith, settlement agents shall furnish (i) their names, business addresses, and telephone numbers and (ii) such other information as may be required. Each such registration (a) shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable fee not to exceed $100 and (b) shall be renewed at least biennially thereafter. When the registration of a settlement agent is renewed, the appropriate licensing authority shall notify the registrant of the provisions of § 17.1-223.

B. The Virginia State Bar, in consultation with the Commission and the Virginia Real Estate Board, shall adopt regulations establishing guidelines for settlement agents designed to assist them in avoiding and preventing the unauthorized practice of law in conjunction with providing escrow, closing, and settlement services. Such guidelines shall be furnished by the appropriate licensing authority to (i) each settlement agent at the time of registration and any renewal thereof, (ii) state and federal agencies that regulate financial institutions, and (iii) members of the general public upon request. Such guidelines shall also be furnished by settlement agents to any party to a real estate transaction in which such agents are providing escrow, closing, or settlement services, upon request.

C. The Virginia State Bar shall receive complaints concerning settlement agent or financial institution noncompliance with the guidelines established pursuant to subsection B and shall (i) investigate such complaints to the extent they concern the unauthorized practice of law or any other matter within its jurisdiction and (ii) refer all other matters or allegations to the appropriate licensing authority. The willful failure of any settlement agent to comply with the guidelines shall be considered a violation of this chapter, and such agent shall be subject to a civil penalty not exceeding $5,000 for each such failure as the Virginia State Bar may determine.

1997, c. 716, §§ 6.1-2.25, 6.1-2.26; 2004, cc. 336, 597; 2009, c. 256; 2010, c. 794, § 55-525.30; 2016, c. 619; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1014. (Effective January 1, 2021) Settlement agent registration requirements and compliance with unauthorized practice of law guidelines; civil penalty.

A. Every settlement agent subject to the provisions of this chapter shall be registered as such with the appropriate licensing authority. In conjunction therewith, settlement agents shall furnish (i) their names, business addresses, and telephone numbers and (ii) such other information as may be required. Each such registration (a) shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable fee prescribed by the appropriate licensing authority and (b) shall be renewed at least biennially thereafter. When the registration of a settlement agent is renewed, the appropriate licensing authority shall notify the registrant of the provisions of § 17.1-223.

B. The Commission shall retain the authority to enforce the provisions of and impose any penalty or remedy authorized by this title and Title 38.2 against any person who is under investigation by the Commission for or charged with a violation of this title, even if the person's license or registration has been surrendered, terminated, suspended, or revoked or has lapsed by operation of law.

C. The Virginia State Bar, in consultation with the Commission and the Virginia Real Estate Board, shall adopt regulations establishing guidelines for settlement agents designed to assist them in avoiding and preventing the unauthorized practice of law in conjunction with providing escrow, closing, and settlement services. Such guidelines shall be furnished by the appropriate licensing authority to (i) each settlement agent at the time of registration and any renewal thereof, (ii) state and federal agencies that regulate financial institutions, and (iii) members of the general public upon request. Such guidelines shall also be furnished by settlement agents to any party to a real estate transaction in which such agents are providing escrow, closing, or settlement services, upon request.

D. The Virginia State Bar shall receive complaints concerning settlement agent or financial institution noncompliance with the guidelines established pursuant to subsection B and shall (i) investigate such complaints to the extent they concern the unauthorized practice of law or any other matter within its jurisdiction and (ii) refer all other matters or allegations to the appropriate licensing authority. The willful failure of any settlement agent to comply with the guidelines shall be considered a violation of this chapter, and such agent shall be subject to a civil penalty not exceeding $5,000 for each such failure as the Virginia State Bar may determine.

1997, c. 716, §§ 6.1-2.25, 6.1-2.26; 2004, cc. 336, 597; 2009, c. 256; 2010, c. 794, § 55-525.30; 2016, c. 619; 2019, cc. 675, 712.

§ 55.1-1015. (Effective October 1, 2019) Penalties and liabilities.

A. If the appropriate licensing authority determines that the settlement agent licensed by it or any of its other licensees has violated this chapter, or any regulation or order adopted thereunder, after notice and opportunity to be heard, the appropriate licensing authority may do one or more of the following:

1. Impose a civil penalty not exceeding $5,000 for each violation;

2. Revoke or suspend the applicable licenses;

3. Issue a restraining order requiring such person to cease and desist from engaging in such act or practice; or

4. Require restitution to be made by the person violating this chapter in the amount of any actual, direct financial loss.

B. The appropriate licensing authority may terminate administratively the registration of any settlement agent if the settlement agent (i) no longer holds a license, (ii) fails to renew its registration, or (iii) fails to comply with the financial responsibility requirements set forth in § 55.1-1004.

C. In addition to the authority given in subsection A, and pursuant to § 12.1-13, the Commission, after determining that any person who does not hold a license from the appropriate licensing authority has violated this chapter or any regulation or order adopted thereunder, may do one or more of the following:

1. Impose a civil penalty not exceeding $5,000 for each violation;

2. Issue a temporary or permanent injunction, or restraining order requiring such person to cease and desist from engaging in such act or practice; or

3. Require restitution to be made by the person violating this chapter in the amount of any actual, direct financial loss.

D. Nothing in this section shall affect the right of the appropriate licensing authority to impose any other penalties provided by law or regulation. Notwithstanding any provision contained in this section to the contrary, as to that portion of any complaint by a party to the real estate transaction arising under this chapter or any regulation or order adopted thereunder relating to the unauthorized practice of law, the Virginia State Bar, after complying with applicable law and regulation relating to unauthorized practice of law complaints and concluding the activity was not authorized by statute or regulation, may refer that portion of such complaint to the Attorney General or an attorney for the Commonwealth. The Attorney General or attorney for the Commonwealth may, in addition to any other powers conferred on him by law, seek the issuance of a temporary or permanent injunction or restraining order against any person so violating this chapter or any regulation or order adopted thereunder.

E. A final order of the licensing authority imposing a civil penalty or ordering restitution may be recorded, enforced, and satisfied as orders of a circuit court upon certification of such order by the licensing authority.

1997, c. 716, § 6.1-2.27; 2000, c. 549; 2004, c. 597; 2009, c. 256; 2010, c. 794, § 55-525.31; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1016. (Effective October 1, 2019) Confidentiality of information obtained by the Commission.

A. Any documents, materials, or other information in the control or possession of the Commission that are furnished by a title insurance company or title insurance agent or an employee thereof acting on behalf of the title insurance company or title insurance agent, or obtained by the Commission in an investigation pursuant to this chapter, shall be confidential by law and privileged, shall not be subject to inspection or review by the general public, shall not be subject to subpoena, and shall not be subject to discovery or admissible in evidence in any private civil action. The Commission is authorized to use the documents, materials, or other information in the furtherance of any regulatory or legal action brought as a part of the Commission's duties.

B. Neither the Commission nor any person who received documents, materials, or other information while acting under the authority of the Commission shall be permitted or required to testify in any private civil action concerning any confidential documents, materials, or information subject to subsection A.

C. In order to assist in the performance of the Commission's duties under this chapter, the Commission:

1. May share documents, material, or other information, including the confidential and privileged documents, materials, or information subject to subsection A, with other state, federal, and international regulatory agencies, with the Association and its affiliates and subsidiaries, and with local, state, federal, and international law-enforcement authorities, provided that the recipient agrees to maintain the confidentiality and privileged status of the document, material, or other information; and

2. May receive documents, materials, or information, including otherwise confidential and privileged documents, materials, or information, from the Association or its affiliates or subsidiaries and from regulatory and law-enforcement officials of other foreign or domestic jurisdictions and shall maintain as confidential or privileged any document, material, or information received with notice or the understanding that it is confidential or privileged under the laws of the jurisdiction that is the source of the document, material, or information.

D. No waiver of any applicable privilege or claim of confidentiality in the documents, materials, or information shall occur as a result of disclosure to the Commission under this section or as a result of sharing as authorized in subsection C.

E. Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the Commission from releasing final, adjudicated actions, including for-cause terminations that are open to public inspection pursuant to Chapter 4 (§ 12.1-18 et seq.) of Title 12.1, to a database or other clearinghouse service maintained by the Association or its affiliates or subsidiaries.

2006, c. 312, § 6.1-2.27:1; 2008, c. 303; 2010, c. 794, § 55-525.32; 2019, c. 712.

Chapter 11. Commercial Real Estate Broker's Lien Act.

§ 55.1-1100. (Effective October 1, 2019) Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Commercial real estate" means any real estate other than (i) real estate containing one to four residential units or (ii) real estate classified for assessment purposes under the provisions of Article 4 (§ 58.1-3230 et seq.) of Chapter 32 of Title 58.1. Commercial real estate does not include single-family residential units, including condominiums, townhouses, apartments, or homes in a subdivision when leased on a unit-by-unit basis even though these units may be part of a larger building or parcel of real estate containing more than four residential units.

"Principal broker" means the same as that term is defined in regulations promulgated by the Real Estate Board.

1992, c. 877, § 55-526; 2009, c. 262; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1101. (Effective October 1, 2019) Broker's lien.

A. Any principal broker who, either himself or through the principal broker's or associated broker's employees or independent contractors, has provided licensed services that result in the procuring of a tenant of commercial real estate upon the terms provided for in a written agreement signed by the owner of such commercial real estate, or that are otherwise acceptable to the owner as evidenced by a written agreement signed by the owner, shall have a lien, in the amount of the compensation agreed upon by and between the principal broker and the owner, upon rent paid by the tenant of the commercial real estate or by the successors or assigns of such tenant. The amount of the lien shall not exceed the lesser of (i) the amount of the rent to be paid during the term of the lease or (ii) the amount of the rent to be paid during the first 20 years of such lease.

B. The lien provided by this chapter shall not attach or be perfected until a memorandum of such lien signed under oath by the broker and meeting the requirements of this subsection has been recorded in the clerk's office of the circuit court of the county or city where the commercial real estate is located, from which date the lien shall have priority over all liens recorded subsequent thereto. The memorandum of lien shall state the name of the claimant, the name of the owner of the commercial real estate, a description of the commercial real estate, the name and address of the person against whom the broker's claim for compensation is made, the name and address of the tenant paying the rent against which the lien is being claimed, the amount for which the lien is being claimed, and the real estate license number of the principal broker claiming the lien. The lien provided by this chapter and the right to rents secured by such lien shall be subordinate to all liens, deeds of trust, mortgages, or assignments of the leases, rents, or profits recorded prior to the time the memorandum of lien is recorded and shall not affect a purchaser for valuable consideration without constructive or actual notice of the recorded lien.

However, a purchaser acquiring fee simple title to commercial real estate and having actual knowledge of terms of a lease agreement that provide for the payment of brokerage fees due and payable to a real estate broker shall be liable for payment of such brokerage fees, unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the parties at or before the time of sale regardless of whether the real estate broker has perfected the lien in accordance with this chapter. The term "purchaser" does not include a trustee under or a beneficiary of a deed of trust, a mortgagee under a mortgage, a secured party or any other assignee under an assignment as security, or successors, assigns, transferees, or purchasers from such persons or entities.

C. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent a subsequent purchaser of commercial real estate subject to a lien under this chapter from establishing an escrow fund at settlement sufficient to satisfy the lien that may otherwise affect transferability of title.

1992, c. 877, § 55-527; 1996, c. 557; 1998, c. 617; 2019, c. 712.

Subtitle III. Rental Conveyances

Chapter 12. Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.

Article 1. General Provisions

§ 55.1-1200. (Effective October 1, 2019) Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Action" means any recoupment, counterclaim, setoff, or other civil action and any other proceeding in which rights are determined, including actions for possession, rent, unlawful detainer, unlawful entry, and distress for rent.

"Application deposit" means any refundable deposit of money, however denominated, including all money intended to be used as a security deposit under a rental agreement, or property, that is paid by a tenant to a landlord for the purpose of being considered as a tenant for a dwelling unit.

"Application fee" means any nonrefundable fee that is paid by a tenant to a landlord or managing agent for the purpose of being considered as a tenant for a dwelling unit.

"Assignment" means the transfer by any tenant of all interests created by a rental agreement.

"Authorized occupant" means a person entitled to occupy a dwelling unit with the consent of the landlord, but who has not signed the rental agreement and therefore does not have the financial obligations as a tenant under the rental agreement.

"Building or housing code" means any law, ordinance, or governmental regulation concerning fitness for habitation or the construction, maintenance, operation, occupancy, use, or appearance of any structure or that part of a structure that is used as a home, residence, or sleeping place by one person who maintains a household or by two or more persons who maintain a common household.

"Commencement date of rental agreement" means the date upon which the tenant is entitled to occupy the dwelling unit as a tenant.

"Community land trust" means a community housing development organization whose (i) corporate membership is open to any adult resident or organization of a particular geographic area specified in the bylaws of the organization and (ii) board of directors includes a majority of members who are elected by the corporate membership and are composed of tenants, corporate members who are not tenants, and any other category of persons specified in the bylaws of the organization and that:

1. Is not sponsored by a for-profit organization;

2. Acquires parcels of land, held in perpetuity, primarily for conveyance under long-term ground leases;

3. Transfers ownership of any structural improvements located on such leased parcels to the tenant; and

4. Retains a preemptive option to purchase any such structural improvement at a price determined by formula that is designed to ensure that the improvement remains affordable to low-income and moderate-income families in perpetuity.

"Dwelling unit" means a structure or part of a structure that is used as a home or residence by one or more persons who maintain a household, including a manufactured home, as defined in § 55.1-1300.

"Effective date of rental agreement" means the date on which the rental agreement is signed by the landlord and the tenant obligating each party to the terms and conditions of the rental agreement.

"Essential service" includes heat, running water, hot water, electricity, and gas.

"Facility" means something that is built, constructed, installed, or established to perform some particular function.

"Good faith" means honesty in fact in the conduct of the transaction concerned.

"Guest or invitee" means a person, other than the tenant or an authorized occupant, who has the permission of the tenant to visit but not to occupy the premises.

"Interior of the dwelling unit" means the inside of the dwelling unit, consisting of interior walls, floor, and ceiling, that enclose the dwelling unit as conditioned space from the outside air.

"Landlord" means the owner, lessor, or sublessor of the dwelling unit or the building of which such dwelling unit is a part. "Landlord" also includes a managing agent of the premises who fails to disclose the name of such owner, lessor, or sublessor. Such managing agent shall be subject to the provisions of § 16.1-88.03. "Landlord" does not include a community land trust.

"Managing agent" means the person authorized by the landlord to act as the property manager on behalf of the landlord pursuant to the written property management agreement.

"Mold remediation in accordance with professional standards" means mold remediation of that portion of the dwelling unit or premises affected by mold, or any personal property of the tenant affected by mold, performed consistent with guidance documents published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (Bioaerosols: Assessment and Control); Standard and Reference Guides of the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) for Professional Water Damage Restoration and Professional Mold Remediation; or any protocol for mold remediation prepared by an industrial hygienist consistent with such guidance documents.

"Multifamily dwelling unit" means more than one single-family dwelling unit located in a building. However, nothing in this definition shall be construed to apply to any nonresidential space in such building.

"Natural person," wherever the chapter refers to an owner as a "natural person," includes co-owners who are natural persons, either as tenants in common, joint tenants, tenants in partnership, tenants by the entirety, trustees or beneficiaries of a trust, general partnerships, limited liability partnerships, registered limited liability partnerships or limited liability companies, or any other lawful combination of natural persons permitted by law.

"Notice" means notice given in writing by either regular mail or hand delivery, with the sender retaining sufficient proof of having given such notice in the form of a certificate of service confirming such mailing prepared by the sender. However, a person shall be deemed to have notice of a fact if he has actual knowledge of it, he has received a verbal notice of it, or, from all of the facts and circumstances known to him at the time in question, he has reason to know it exists. A person "notifies" or "gives" a notice or notification to another by taking steps reasonably calculated to inform another person, whether or not the other person actually comes to know of it. If notice is given that is not in writing, the person giving the notice has the burden of proof to show that the notice was given to the recipient of the notice.

"Organization" means a corporation, government, governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, or association; two or more persons having a joint or common interest; any combination thereof; and any other legal or commercial entity.

"Owner" means one or more persons or entities, jointly or severally, including a mortgagee in possession, in whom is vested:

1. All or part of the legal title to the property; or

2. All or part of the beneficial ownership and a right to present use and enjoyment of the premises.

"Person" means any individual, group of individuals, corporation, partnership, business trust, association, or other legal entity, or any combination thereof.

"Premises" means a dwelling unit and the structure of which it is a part, facilities and appurtenances contained therein, and grounds, areas, and facilities held out for the use of tenants generally or whose use is promised to the tenant.

"Processing fee for payment of rent with bad check" means the processing fee specified in the rental agreement, not to exceed $50, assessed by a landlord against a tenant for payment of rent with a check drawn by the tenant on which payment has been refused by the payor bank because the drawer had no account or insufficient funds.

"Readily accessible" means areas within the interior of the dwelling unit available for observation at the time of the move-in inspection that do not require removal of materials, personal property, equipment, or similar items.

"Rent" means all money, other than a security deposit, owed or paid to the landlord under the rental agreement, including prepaid rent paid more than one month in advance of the rent due date.

"Rental agreement" or "lease agreement" means all rental agreements, written or oral, and valid rules and regulations adopted under § 55.1-1228 embodying the terms and conditions concerning the use and occupancy of a dwelling unit and premises.

"Rental application" means the written application or similar document used by a landlord to determine if a prospective tenant is qualified to become a tenant of a dwelling unit.

"Residential tenancy" means a tenancy that is based on a rental agreement between a landlord and a tenant for a dwelling unit.

"Roomer" means a person occupying a dwelling unit that lacks a major bathroom or kitchen facility, in a structure where one or more major facilities are used in common by occupants of the dwelling unit and other dwelling units. "Major facility" in the case of a bathroom means a toilet and either a bath or shower and in the case of a kitchen means a refrigerator, stove, or sink.

"Security deposit" means any refundable deposit of money that is furnished by a tenant to a landlord to secure the performance of the terms and conditions of a rental agreement, as a security for damages to the leased premises, or as a pet deposit. However, such money shall be deemed an application deposit until the commencement date of the rental agreement. "Security deposit" does not include a damage insurance policy or renter's insurance policy, as those terms are defined in § 55.1-1206, purchased by a landlord to provide coverage for a tenant.

"Single-family residence" means a structure, other than a multifamily residential structure, maintained and used as a single dwelling unit, condominium unit, or any other dwelling unit that has direct access to a street or thoroughfare and does not share heating facilities, hot water equipment, or any other essential facility or essential service with any other dwelling unit.

"Sublease" means the transfer by any tenant of any but not all interests created by a rental agreement.

"Tenant" means a person entitled only under the terms of a rental agreement to occupy a dwelling unit to the exclusion of others and includes a roomer. "Tenant" does not include (i) an authorized occupant, (ii) a guest or invitee, or (iii) any person who guarantees or cosigns the payment of the financial obligations of a rental agreement but has no right to occupy a dwelling unit.

"Tenant records" means all information, including financial, maintenance, and other records about a tenant or prospective tenant, whether such information is in written or electronic form or any other medium.

"Utility" means electricity, natural gas, or water and sewer provided by a public service corporation or such other person providing utility services as permitted under § 56-1.2. If the rental agreement so provides, a landlord may use submetering equipment or energy allocation equipment as defined in § 56-245.2 or a ratio utility billing system as defined in § 55.1-1212.

"Visible evidence of mold" means the existence of mold in the dwelling unit that is visible to the naked eye by the landlord or tenant in areas within the interior of the dwelling unit readily accessible at the time of the move-in inspection.

"Written notice" means notice given in accordance with § 55.1-1202, including any representation of words, letters, symbols, numbers, or figures, whether (i) printed in or inscribed on a tangible medium or (ii) stored in an electronic form or any other medium, retrievable in a perceivable form, and regardless of whether an electronic signature authorized by the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (§ 59.1-479 et seq.) is affixed.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.4; 1977, c. 427; 1987, c. 428; 1990, c. 55; 1991, c. 205; 1999, cc. 77, 258, 359, 390; 2000, cc. 760, 816; 2002, c. 531; 2003, cc. 355, 425, 855; 2004, c. 123; 2007, c. 634; 2008, cc. 489, 640; 2010, cc. 180, 550, § 55-221.1; 2012, c. 788; 2013, c. 563; 2014, c. 651; 2015, c. 596; 2016, c. 744; 2017, c. 730; 2019, cc. 5, 45, 477, 712.

§ 55.1-1201. (Effective October 1, 2019) Applicability of chapter; local authority.

A. This chapter shall apply to all jurisdictions in the Commonwealth and may not be waived or otherwise modified, in whole or in part, by the governing body of any locality or its boards or commissions or other instrumentalities or by the courts of the Commonwealth. Occupancy in a public housing unit or other housing unit that is a dwelling unit is subject to this chapter; however, if the provisions of this chapter are inconsistent with the regulations of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, such regulations shall control.

B. The provisions of this chapter shall apply to occupancy in all single-family and multifamily dwelling units and multifamily dwelling units located in the Commonwealth.

C. The following tenancies and occupancies are not residential tenancies under this chapter:

1. Residence at a public or private institution, if incidental to detention or the provision of medical, geriatric, educational, counseling, religious, or similar services;

2. Occupancy by a member of a fraternal or social organization in the portion of a structure operated for the benefit of the organization;

3. Occupancy by an owner of a condominium unit or a holder of a proprietary lease in a cooperative;

4. Occupancy in a campground as defined in § 35.1-1;

5. Occupancy by a tenant who pays no rent pursuant to a rental agreement;

6. Occupancy by an employee of a landlord whose right to occupancy in a multifamily dwelling unit is conditioned upon employment in and about the premises or a former employee whose occupancy continues less than 60 days; or

7. Occupancy under a contract of sale of a dwelling unit or the property of which it is a part, if the occupant is the purchaser or a person who succeeds to his interest.

D. The following provisions apply to occupancy in a hotel, motel, extended stay facility, etc.:

1. A guest who is an occupant of a hotel, motel, extended stay facility, vacation residential facility, including those governed by the Virginia Real Estate Time-Share Act (§ 55.1-2200 et seq.), boardinghouse, or similar transient lodging shall not be construed to be a tenant living in a dwelling unit if such person does not reside in such lodging as his primary residence. Such guest shall be exempt from this chapter, and the innkeeper or property owner, or his agent, shall have the right to use self-help eviction under Virginia law, without the necessity of the filing of an unlawful detainer action in a court of competent jurisdiction and the execution of a writ of eviction issued pursuant to such action, which would otherwise be required under this chapter.

2. A hotel, motel, extended stay facility, vacation residential facility, including those governed by the Virginia Real Estate Time-Share Act (§ 55.1-2200 et seq.), boardinghouse, or similar transient lodging shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter if overnight sleeping accommodations are furnished to a person for consideration if such person does not reside in such lodging as his primary residence.

3. If a person resides in a hotel, motel, extended stay facility, vacation residential facility, including those governed by the Virginia Real Estate Time-Share Act (§ 55.1-2200 et seq.), boardinghouse, or similar transient lodging as his primary residence for 90 consecutive days or less, such lodging shall not be subject to the provisions of this chapter. However, the owner of such lodging establishment shall give a five-day written notice of nonpayment to a person residing in such lodging and, upon the expiration of the five-day period specified in the notice, may exercise self-help eviction if payment in full has not been received.

4. If a person resides in a hotel, motel, extended stay facility, vacation residential facility, including those governed by the Virginia Real Estate Time-Share Act (§ 55.1-2200 et seq.), boardinghouse, or similar transient lodging as his primary residence for more than 90 consecutive days or is subject to a written lease for more than 90 days, such lodging shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter.

5. Nothing herein shall be construed to preclude the owner of a lodging establishment that uses self-help eviction pursuant to this section from pursuing any civil or criminal remedies under the laws of the Commonwealth.

E. Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit a locality from establishing a commission, reconciliatory in nature only, or designating an existing agency, which upon mutual agreement of the parties may mediate conflicts that may arise out of the application of this chapter, nor shall anything in this chapter be deemed to prohibit an ordinance designed to effect compliance with local property maintenance codes. This chapter shall supersede all other local ordinances or regulations concerning landlord and tenant relations and the leasing of residential property.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.3; 1977, c. 427; 2000, c. 760, § 55-248.3:1; 2001, c. 416; 2017, c. 730; 2018, cc. 50, 78, 221; 2019, cc. 180, 700, 712.

§ 55.1-1202. (Effective October 1, 2019) Notice.

A. If the rental agreement so provides, the landlord and tenant may send notices in electronic form; however, any tenant who so requests may elect to send and receive notices in paper form. If electronic delivery is used, the sender shall retain sufficient proof of the electronic delivery, which may be an electronic receipt of delivery, a confirmation that the notice was sent by facsimile, or a certificate of service prepared by the sender confirming the electronic delivery.

B. In the case of the landlord, notice is served on the landlord at his place of business where the rental agreement was made or at any place held out by the landlord as the place for receipt of the communication.

In the case of the tenant, notice is served at the tenant's last known place of residence, which may be the dwelling unit.

C. Notice, knowledge, or a notice or notification received by an organization is effective for a particular transaction from the time it is brought to the attention of the person conducting that transaction, or from the time it would have been brought to his attention if the organization had exercised reasonable diligence.

D. No notice of termination of tenancy served upon a tenant by a public housing authority organized under the Housing Authorities Law (§ 36-1 et seq.) shall be effective unless it contains on its first page, in type no smaller or less legible than that otherwise used in the body of the notice, the name, address, and telephone number of the legal services program, if any, serving the jurisdiction in which the premises is located.

E. The landlord may, in accordance with a written agreement, delegate to a managing agent or other third party the responsibility of providing any written notice under this chapter. The landlord may also engage an attorney at law to prepare or provide any written notice under this chapter or legal process under Title 8.01. Nothing herein shall be construed to preclude use of an electronic signature as defined in § 59.1-480, or an electronic notarization as defined in § 47.1-2, in any written notice under this chapter or legal process under Title 8.01.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.6; 1982, c. 260; 1993, c. 754; 1998, c. 260; 2000, c. 760; 2008, cc. 489, 640; 2017, c. 730; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1203. (Effective October 1, 2019) Application deposit and application fee.

A. Any landlord may require a refundable application deposit in addition to a nonrefundable application fee. If the applicant fails to rent the unit for which application was made, from the application deposit the landlord shall refund to the applicant within 20 days after the applicant's failure to rent the unit or the landlord's rejection of the application all sums in excess of the landlord's actual expenses and damages together with an itemized list of such expenses and damages. If, however, the application deposit was made by cash, certified check, cashier's check, or postal money order, such refund shall be made within 10 days of the applicant's failure to rent the unit if the failure to rent is due to the landlord's rejection of the application. If the landlord fails to comply with this section, the applicant may recover as damages suffered by him that portion of the application deposit wrongfully withheld and reasonable attorney fees.

B. A landlord may request that a prospective tenant provide information that will enable the landlord to determine whether each applicant may become a tenant. The landlord may photocopy each applicant's driver's license or other similar photo identification, containing either the applicant's social security number or control number issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles pursuant to § 46.2-342. However, a landlord shall not photocopy a U.S. government-issued identification so long as to do so is a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 701. The landlord may require, for the purpose of determining whether each applicant is eligible to become a tenant in the landlord's dwelling unit, that each applicant provide a social security number issued by the U.S. Social Security Administration or an individual taxpayer identification number issued by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

C. An application fee shall not exceed $50, exclusive of any actual out-of-pocket expenses paid by the landlord to a third party performing background, credit, or other pre-occupancy checks on the applicant. However, where an application is being made for a dwelling unit that is a public housing unit or other housing unit subject to regulation by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, an application fee shall not exceed $32, exclusive of any actual out-of-pocket expenses paid to a third party by the landlord performing background, credit, or other pre-occupancy checks on the applicant.

1977, c. 427, § 55-248.6:1; 1985, c. 208; 1993, c. 382; 2000, c. 760; 2003, c. 416; 2008, c. 489; 2011, c. 766; 2013, c. 563; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1204. (Effective October 1, 2019) Terms and conditions of rental agreement; payment of rent; copy of rental agreement for tenant.

A. A landlord and tenant may include in a rental agreement terms and conditions not prohibited by this chapter or other rule of law, including rent, charges for late payment of rent, the term of the agreement, automatic renewal of the rental agreement, requirements for notice of intent to vacate or terminate the rental agreement, and other provisions governing the rights and obligations of the parties.

B. The landlord shall offer the tenant a written rental agreement containing the terms governing the rental of the dwelling unit and setting forth the terms and conditions of the landlord tenant relationship. Such written rental agreement shall be effective upon the date signed by the parties.

C. If a landlord does not offer a written rental agreement, the tenancy shall exist by operation of law, consisting of the following terms and conditions:

1. The provision of this chapter shall be applicable to the dwelling unit that is being rented;

2. The duration of the rental agreement shall be for 12 months and shall not be subject to automatic renewal, except in the event of a month-to-month lease as otherwise provided for under subsection C of § 55.1-1253;

3. Rent shall be paid in 12 equal periodic installments in an amount agreed upon by the landlord and the tenant and if no amount is agreed upon, the installments shall be at fair market rent;

4. Rent payments shall be due on the first day of each month during the tenancy and shall be considered late if not paid by the fifth of the month;

5. If the rent is paid by the tenant after the fifth day of any given month, the landlord shall be entitled to charge a late charge as provided in this chapter;

6. The landlord may collect a security deposit not to exceed an amount equal to two months of rent; and

7. The parties may enter into a written rental agreement at any time during the 12-month tenancy created by this subsection.

D. Except as provided in the written rental agreement or, as provided in subsection C if no written agreement is offered, rent shall be payable without demand or notice at the time and place agreed upon by the parties. Except as provided in the written rental agreement, rent is payable at the place designated by the landlord, and periodic rent is payable at the beginning of any term of one month or less and otherwise in equal installments at the beginning of each month. If the landlord receives from a tenant a written request for a written statement of charges and payments, he shall provide the tenant with a written statement showing all debits and credits over the tenancy or the past 12 months, whichever is shorter. The landlord shall provide such written statement within 10 business days of receiving the request.

E. Except as provided in the written rental agreement or, as provided in subsection C if no written agreement is offered, the tenancy shall be week-to-week in the case of a tenant who pays weekly rent and month-to-month in all other cases. Terminations of tenancies shall be governed by § 55.1-1253 unless the rental agreement provides for a different notice period.

F. If the rental agreement contains any provision allowing the landlord to approve or disapprove a sublessee or assignee of the tenant, the landlord shall, within 10 business days of receipt of the written application of the prospective sublessee or assignee on a form to be provided by the landlord, approve or disapprove the sublessee or assignee. Failure of the landlord to act within 10 business days is evidence of his approval.

G. The landlord shall provide a copy of any written rental agreement signed by both the tenant and the landlord to the tenant within one month of the effective date of the written rental agreement. The failure of the landlord to deliver such a rental agreement shall not affect the validity of the agreement.

H. No unilateral change in the terms of a rental agreement by a landlord or tenant shall be valid unless (i) notice of the change is given in accordance with the terms of the rental agreement or as otherwise required by law and (ii) both parties consent in writing to the change.

I. The landlord shall provide the tenant with a written receipt, upon request from the tenant, whenever the tenant pays rent in the form of cash or money order.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.7; 1977, c. 427; 1983, c. 39; 1988, c. 68; 2000, c. 760; 2003, c. 424; 2012, cc. 464, 503; 2013, c. 563; 2017, c. 730; 2019, cc. 5, 45, 712.

§ 55.1-1205. (Effective October 1, 2019) Prepaid rent; maintenance of escrow account.

A landlord and a tenant may agree in a rental agreement that the tenant pay prepaid rent. If a landlord receives prepaid rent, it shall be placed in an escrow account in a federally insured depository authorized to do business in Virginia by the end of the fifth business day following receipt and shall remain in the account until such time as the prepaid rent becomes due. Unless the landlord has otherwise become entitled to receive any portion of the prepaid rent, it shall not be removed from the escrow account required by this section without the written consent of the tenant.

2002, c. 531, § 55-248.7:1; 2015, c. 596; 2017, c. 730; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1206. (Effective October 1, 2019) Landlord may obtain certain insurance for tenant.

A. A landlord may require as a condition of tenancy that a tenant have commercial insurance coverage as specified in the rental agreement to secure the performance by the tenant of the terms and conditions of the rental agreement and pay for the cost of premiums for such insurance coverage obtained by the landlord, generally known as "damage insurance." As provided in § 55.1-1200, such payments shall not be deemed a security deposit, but shall be rent. However, as provided in § 55.1-1208, the landlord shall not require a tenant to pay both a security deposit and the cost of damage insurance premiums, if the total amount of any security deposit and damage insurance premiums exceeds the amount of two months' periodic rent. The landlord shall notify a tenant in writing that the tenant has the right to obtain a separate policy from the landlord's policy for damage insurance. If a tenant elects to obtain a separate policy, the tenant shall submit to the landlord written proof of such coverage and shall maintain such coverage at all times during the term of the rental agreement. Where a landlord obtains damage insurance coverage on behalf of a tenant, the insurance policy shall provide coverage for the tenant as an insured. The landlord shall recover from the tenant the actual costs of such insurance coverage and may recover administrative or other fees associated with administration of a damage insurance policy, including a tenant opting out of the insurance coverage provided by the landlord pursuant to this subsection. If a landlord obtains damage insurance for his tenants, the landlord shall provide to each tenant, prior to execution of the rental agreement, a summary of the insurance policy or certificate evidencing the coverage being provided and upon request of the tenant make available a copy of the insurance policy.

B. A landlord may require as a condition of tenancy that a tenant have renter's insurance as specified in the rental agreement that is a combination multi-peril policy containing fire, miscellaneous property, and personal liability coverage insuring personal property located in dwelling units not occupied by the owner. A landlord may require a tenant to pay for the cost of premiums for such insurance obtained by the landlord, in order to provide such coverage for the tenant as part of rent or as otherwise provided in this section. As provided in § 55.1-1200, such payments shall not be deemed a security deposit but shall be rent. The landlord shall notify a tenant in writing that the tenant has the right to obtain a separate policy from the landlord's policy for renter's insurance. If a tenant elects to obtain a separate policy, the tenant shall submit to the landlord written proof of such coverage and shall maintain such coverage at all times during the term of the rental agreement. If a tenant allows his renter's insurance policy required by the rental agreement to lapse for any reason, the landlord may provide any landlord's renter's insurance coverage to such tenant. The tenant shall be obligated to pay for the cost of premiums for such insurance as rent or as otherwise provided herein until the tenant has provided written documentation to the landlord showing that the tenant has reinstated his own renter's insurance coverage.

C. If the landlord requires that such premiums be paid prior to the commencement of the tenancy, the total amount of all security deposits and insurance premiums for damage insurance and renter's insurance shall not exceed the amount of two months' periodic rent. Otherwise, the landlord may add a monthly amount as additional rent to recover the costs of such insurance coverage.

D. Where a landlord obtains renter's insurance coverage on behalf of a tenant, the insurance policy shall provide coverage for the tenant as an insured. The landlord shall recover from the tenant the actual costs of such insurance coverage and may recover administrative or other fees associated with the administration of a renter's insurance program, including a tenant opting out of the insurance coverage provided to the tenant pursuant to this subsection. If a landlord obtains renter's insurance for his tenants, the landlord shall provide to each tenant, prior to execution of the rental agreement, a summary of the insurance policy prepared by the insurer or certificate evidencing the coverage being provided and upon request of the tenant make available a copy of the insurance policy. Such summary or certificate shall include a statement regarding whether the insurance policy contains a waiver of subrogation provision. Any failure of the landlord to provide such summary or certificate, or to make available a copy of the insurance policy, shall not affect the validity of the rental agreement.

If the rental agreement does not require the tenant to obtain renter's insurance, the landlord shall provide a written notice to the tenant, prior to the execution of the rental agreement, stating that (i) the landlord is not responsible for the tenant's personal property, (ii) the landlord's insurance coverage does not cover the tenant's personal property, and (iii) if the tenant wishes to protect his personal property, he should obtain renter's insurance. The notice shall inform the tenant that any such renter's insurance obtained by the tenant does not cover flood damage and advise the tenant to contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or visit the websites for FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program or for the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation's Flood Risk Information System to obtain information regarding whether the property is located in a special flood hazard area. Any failure of the landlord to provide such notice shall not affect the validity of the rental agreement. If the tenant requests translation of the notice from the English language to another language, the landlord may assist the tenant in obtaining a translator or refer the tenant to an electronic translation service. In doing so, the landlord shall not be deemed to have breached any of his obligations under this chapter or otherwise become liable for any inaccuracies in the translation. The landlord shall not charge a fee for such assistance or referral.

E. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the landlord from recovering from the tenant, as part of the rent, the tenant's prorated share of the actual costs of other insurance coverages provided by the landlord relative to the premises, or the tenant's prorated share of a self-insurance program held in an escrow account by the landlord, including the landlord's administrative or other fees associated with the administration of such coverages. The landlord may apply such funds held in escrow to pay claims pursuant to the landlord's self-insurance plan.

2004, c. 123, § 55-248.7:2; 2005, c. 285; 2010, c. 550; 2012, c. 788; 2015, c. 596; 2018, c. 221; 2019, cc. 386, 394, 712.

§ 55.1-1207. (Effective October 1, 2019) Effect of unsigned or undelivered rental agreement.

If the landlord does not sign and deliver a written rental agreement signed and delivered to him by the tenant, acceptance of rent without reservation by the landlord gives the rental agreement the same effect as if it had been signed and delivered by the landlord. If the tenant does not sign and deliver a written rental agreement signed and delivered to him by the landlord, acceptance of possession or payment of rent without reservation gives the rental agreement the same effect as if it had been signed and delivered by the tenant. If a rental agreement given effect pursuant to this section provides for a term longer than one year, it is effective for only one year.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.8; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1208. (Effective October 1, 2019) Prohibited provisions in rental agreements.

A. A rental agreement shall not contain provisions that the tenant:

1. Agrees to waive or forgo rights or remedies under this chapter;

2. Agrees to waive or forgo rights or remedies pertaining to the 120-day conversion or rehabilitation notice required in the Virginia Condominium Act (§ 55.1-1900 et seq.) or the Virginia Real Estate Cooperative Act (§ 55.1-2100 et seq.) or under § 55.1-1410;

3. Authorizes any person to confess judgment on a claim arising out of the rental agreement;

4. Agrees to pay the landlord's attorney fees except as provided in this chapter;

5. Agrees to the exculpation or limitation of any liability of the landlord to the tenant arising under law or to indemnify the landlord for that liability or any associated costs;

6. Agrees as a condition of tenancy in public housing to a prohibition or restriction of any lawful possession of a firearm within individual dwelling units unless required by federal law or regulation; or

7. Agrees to both the payment of a security deposit and the provision of a bond or commercial insurance policy purchased by the tenant to secure the performance of the terms and conditions of a rental agreement, if the total of the security deposit and the bond or insurance premium exceeds the amount of two months' periodic rent.

B. Any provision prohibited by subsection A that is included in a rental agreement is unenforceable. If a landlord brings an action to enforce any such provision, the tenant may recover actual damages sustained by him and reasonable attorney fees.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.9; 1977, c. 427; 1987, c. 473; 1991, c. 720; 2000, c. 760; 2002, c. 531; 2003, c. 905; 2016, c. 744; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1209. (Effective October 1, 2019) Confidentiality of tenant records.

A. No landlord or managing agent shall release information about a tenant or prospective tenant in the possession of the landlord or managing agent to a third party unless:

1. The tenant or prospective tenant has given prior written consent;

2. The information is a matter of public record as defined in § 2.2-3701;

3. The information is a summary of the tenant's rent payment record, including the amount of the tenant's periodic rent payment;

4. The information is a copy of a material noncompliance notice that has not been remedied or a termination notice given to the tenant under § 55.1-1245 and the tenant did not remain in the premises after such notice was given;

5. The information is requested by a local, state, or federal law-enforcement or public safety official in the performance of his duties;

6. The information is requested pursuant to a subpoena in a civil case;

7. The information is requested by a local commissioner of the revenue in accordance with § 58.1-3901;

8. The information is requested by a contract purchaser of the landlord's property, provided that the contract purchaser agrees in writing to maintain the confidentiality of such information;

9. The information is requested by a lender of the landlord for financing or refinancing of the property;

10. The information is requested by the commanding officer, military housing officer, or military attorney of the tenant;

11. The third party is the landlord's attorney or the landlord's collection agency;

12. The information is otherwise provided in the case of an emergency;

13. The information is requested by the landlord to be provided to the managing agent or a successor to the managing agent; or

14. The information is requested by an employee or independent contractor of the United States to obtain census information pursuant to federal law.

B. A tenant may designate a third party to receive duplicate copies of a summons that has been issued pursuant to § 8.01-126 and of written notices from the landlord relating to the tenancy. Where such a third party has been designated by the tenant, the landlord shall mail the duplicate copy of any summons issued pursuant to § 8.01-126 or notice to the designated third party at the same time the summons or notice is mailed to or served upon the tenant. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to grant standing to any third party designated by the tenant to challenge actions of the landlord in which notice was mailed pursuant to this subsection. The failure of the landlord to give notice to a third party designated by the tenant shall not affect the validity of any judgment entered against the tenant.

C. A landlord or managing agent may enter into an agreement with a third-party service provider to maintain tenant records in electronic form or other medium. In such case, the landlord and managing agent shall not be liable under this section in the event of a breach of the electronic data of such third-party service provider, except in the case of gross negligence or intentional act. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a landlord or managing agent to indemnify such third-party service provider.

D. A tenant may request a copy of his tenant records in paper or electronic form. If the rental agreement so provides, a landlord may charge a tenant requesting more than one copy of his records the actual costs of preparing copies of such records. However, if the landlord makes available tenant records to each tenant by electronic portal, the tenant shall not be required to pay for access to such portal.

1985, c. 567, § 55-248..9:1; 2000, c. 760; 2003, c. 426; 2006, cc. 491, 667; 2008, c. 489; 2010, c. 550; 2015, c. 596; 2016, c. 744; 2018, c. 221; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1210. (Effective October 1, 2019) Landlord and tenant remedies for abuse of access.

If the tenant refuses to allow lawful access, the landlord may obtain injunctive relief to compel access, or terminate the rental agreement. In either case, the landlord may recover actual damages and reasonable attorney fees. If the landlord makes an unlawful entry or a lawful entry in an unreasonable manner or makes repeated demands for entry that is otherwise lawful but that have the effect of unreasonably harassing the tenant, the tenant may obtain injunctive relief to prevent the recurrence of the conduct, or terminate the rental agreement. In either case, the tenant may recover actual damages and reasonable attorney fees.

2000, c. 760, § 55-248.10:1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1211. (Effective October 1, 2019) Appointment of resident agent by nonresident property owner; service of process, etc., on such agent or on Secretary of the Commonwealth.

A. As used in this section, "nonresident property owner" means any nonresident individual or group of individuals who owns and leases residential real property.

B. Every nonresident property owner shall appoint and continuously maintain an agent who (i) if such agent is an individual, is a resident of the Commonwealth, or if such agent is a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or other entity, is authorized to transact business in the Commonwealth and (ii) maintains a business office within the Commonwealth. Every lease executed by or on behalf of nonresident property owners regarding any such real property shall specifically designate such agent and the agent's office address for the purpose of service of any process, notice, order, or demand required or permitted by law to be served upon such nonresident property owner.

C. Whenever any nonresident property owner fails to appoint or maintain an agent, as required in this section, or whenever his agent cannot with reasonable diligence be found, then the Secretary of the Commonwealth shall be an agent of the nonresident property owner upon whom may be served any process, notice, order, or demand. Service may be made on the Secretary of the Commonwealth or any of his staff at his office who shall forthwith cause it to be sent by registered or certified mail addressed to the nonresident property owner at his address as shown on the official tax records maintained by the locality where the property is located.

D. The name and office address of the agent appointed as provided in this section shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the court in which deeds are recorded in the county or city in which the property lies. Recordation shall be in the same book as certificates of fictitious names are recorded as provided by § 59.1-74, for which the clerk shall be entitled to a fee of $10.

E. No nonresident property owner shall maintain an action in the courts of the Commonwealth concerning property for which a designation is required by this section until such designation has been filed.

1973, c. 301, § 55-218.1; 1987, c. 360; 2006, c. 318; 2008, c. 119; 2019, cc. 365, 712.

§ 55.1-1212. (Effective October 1, 2019) Energy submetering, energy allocation equipment, sewer and water submetering equipment, and ratio utility billing systems; local government fees.

A. As used in this section:

"Energy allocation equipment" means the same as that term is defined in § 56-245.2.

"Energy submetering equipment" has the same meaning ascribed to "submetering equipment" in § 56-245.2.

"Local government fees" means any local government charges or fees assessed against a residential building, including charges or fees for stormwater, recycling, trash collection, elevator testing, fire or life safety testing, or residential rental inspection programs.

"Ratio utility billing system" means a program that utilizes a mathematical formula for allocating, among the tenants in a residential building, the actual or anticipated water, sewer, electrical, oil, or natural gas billings billed to the residential building owner from a third-party provider of the utility service. Permitted allocation methods may include formulas based on square footage, occupancy, number of bedrooms, or some other specific method agreed to by the residential building owner and the tenant in the rental agreement or lease.

"Residential building" means all of the individual units served through the same utility-owned meter within a residential building that is defined in § 56-245.2 as an apartment building or house or all of the individual dwelling units served through the same utility-owned meter within a manufactured home park as defined in § 55.1-1300.

"Water and sewer submetering equipment" means equipment used to measure actual water or sewer usage in any residential building when such equipment is not owned or controlled by the utility or other provider of water or sewer service that provides service to the residential building.

B. Energy submetering equipment, energy allocation equipment, water and sewer submetering equipment, or a ratio utility billing system may be used in a residential building if clearly stated in the rental agreement or lease for the residential building. All energy submetering equipment and energy allocation equipment shall meet the requirements and standards established and enforced by the State Corporation Commission pursuant to § 56-245.3.

C. If energy submetering equipment, energy allocation equipment, or water and sewer submetering equipment is used in any residential building, the owner, manager, or operator of such residential building shall bill the tenant for electricity, oil, natural gas, or water and sewer for the same billing period as the utility serving the residential building, unless the rental agreement or lease expressly provides otherwise. The owner, manager, or operator of such residential building may charge and collect from the tenant additional service charges, including monthly billing fees, account set-up fees, or account move-out fees, to cover the actual costs of administrative expenses and billing charged to the residential building owner, manager, or operator by a third-party provider of such services, provided that such charges are agreed to by the residential building owner and the tenant in the rental agreement or lease. The residential building owner may require the tenant to pay a late charge of up to $5 if the tenant fails to make payment when due, which shall not be less than 15 days following the date of mailing or delivery of the bill sent pursuant to this section.

D. If a ratio utility billing system is used in any residential building, in lieu of increasing the rent, the owner, manager, or operator of such residential building may employ such a program that utilizes a mathematical formula for allocating, among the tenants in a residential building, the actual or anticipated water, sewer, electrical, oil, or natural gas billings billed to the residential building owner from a third-party provider of the utility service. The owner, manager, or operator of the residential building may charge and collect from the tenant additional service charges, including monthly billing fees, account set-up fees, or account move-out fees, to cover the actual costs of administrative expenses and billings charged to the residential building owner, manager, or operator by a third-party provider of such services, provided that such charges are agreed to by the residential building owner and the tenant in the rental agreement or lease. The residential building owner may require the tenant to pay a late charge of up to $5 if the tenant fails to make payment when due, which shall not be less than 15 days following the date of mailing or delivery of the bill sent pursuant to this section. The late charge shall be deemed rent (i) as defined in § 55.1-1200 if a ratio utility billing system is used in a residential multifamily dwelling unit subject to this chapter or (ii) as defined in § 55.1-1300 if a ratio utility billing system is used in a manufactured home park subject to the Manufactured Home Lot Rental Act (§ 55.1-1300 et seq.).

E. Energy allocation equipment shall be tested periodically by the owner, manager, or operator of the residential building. Upon the request by a tenant, the owner shall test the energy allocation equipment without charge. The test conducted without charge to the tenant shall not be conducted more frequently than once in a 24-month period for the same tenant. The tenant or his designated representative may be present during the testing of the energy allocation equipment. A written report of the results of the test shall be made to the tenant within 10 working days after the completion of the test.

F. The owner of any residential building shall maintain adequate records regarding energy submetering equipment, energy allocation equipment, water and sewer submetering equipment, or a ratio utility billing system. A tenant may inspect and copy the records for the leased premises during reasonable business hours at a convenient location within or serving the residential building. The owner of the residential building may impose and collect a reasonable charge for copying documents, reflecting the actual costs of materials and labor for copying, prior to providing copies of the records to the tenant.

G. Notwithstanding any enforcement action undertaken by the State Corporation Commission pursuant to its authority under § 56-245.3, tenants and owners shall retain any private right of action resulting from any breach of the rental agreement or lease terms required by this section or § 56-245.3, if applicable, to the same extent as such actions may be maintained for breach of other terms of the rental agreement or lease under this chapter, if applicable. The use of energy submetering equipment, energy allocation equipment, water and sewer submetering equipment, or a ratio utility billing system is not within the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services under Chapter 56 (§ 3.2-5600 et seq.) of Title 3.2.

H. In lieu of increasing the rent, the owner, manager, or operator of a residential building may employ a program that utilizes a mathematical formula for allocating the actual or anticipated local government fees billed to the residential building owner among the tenants in such residential building if clearly stated in the rental agreement or lease. Permitted allocation methods may include formulas based upon square footage, occupancy, number of bedrooms, or some other specific method agreed to by the residential building owner and the tenant in the rental agreement or lease. Such owner, manager, or operator of a residential building may also charge and collect from each tenant additional service charges, including monthly billing fees, account set-up fees, or account move-out fees, to cover the actual costs of administrative expenses for administration of such a program. If the building is residential and is subject to (i) this chapter, such local government fees and administrative expenses shall be deemed to be rent as defined in § 55.1-1200 or (ii) the Manufactured Home Lot Rental Act (§ 55.1-1300 et seq.), such local government fees and administrative expenses shall be deemed to be rent as defined in § 55.1-1300.

I. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit an owner, manager, or operator of a residential building from including water, sewer, electrical, natural gas, oil, or other utilities in the amount of rent as specified in the rental agreement or lease.

1992, c. 766, § 55-226.2; 2003, c. 355; 2005, c. 278; 2010, c. 550; 2012, c. 338; 2014, c. 501; 2015, c. 596; 2017, c. 730; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1213. (Effective October 1, 2019) Transfer of deposits upon purchase.

The current owner of rental property shall transfer any security deposits and any accrued interest on the deposits in his possession to the new owner at the time of the transfer of the rental property. If the current owner has entered into a written property management agreement with a managing agent in accordance with the provisions of subsection E of § 54.1-2135, the current owner shall give written notice to the managing agent requesting payment of such security deposits to the current owner prior to settlement with the new owner. Upon receipt of the written notice, the managing agent shall transfer the security deposits to the current owner and provide written notice to each tenant that his security deposit has been transferred to the new owner in accordance with this section.

1984, c. 281, § 55-507; 2017, cc. 63, 402; 2019, c. 712.

Article 2. Landlord Obligations

§ 55.1-1214. (Effective October 1, 2019) Inspection of dwelling unit; report.

A. The landlord shall, within five days after occupancy of a dwelling unit, submit a written report to the tenant itemizing damages to the dwelling unit existing at the time of occupancy, and the report shall be deemed correct unless the tenant objects to it in writing within five days after receipt of the report.

B. The landlord may adopt a written policy allowing the tenant to prepare the written report of the move-in inspection, in which case the tenant shall submit a copy to the landlord, and the report shall be deemed correct unless the landlord objects thereto in writing within five days after receipt of the report. Such written policy adopted by the landlord may also provide for the landlord and the tenant to prepare the written report of the move-in inspection jointly, in which case both the landlord and the tenant shall sign the written report and receive a copy of the report, at which time the inspection report shall be deemed correct.

C. If any damages are reflected on the written report, a landlord is not required to make repairs to address such damages unless required to do so under § 55.1-1215 or 55.1-1220.

1977, c. 427, § 55-248.11:1; 1992, c. 451; 2000, c. 760; 2016, c. 744; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1215. (Effective October 1, 2019) Disclosure of mold in dwelling units.

As part of the written report of the move-in inspection required by § 55.1-1214, the landlord shall disclose whether there is any visible evidence of mold in areas readily accessible within the interior of the dwelling unit. If the landlord's written disclosure states that there is no visible evidence of mold in the dwelling unit, this written statement shall be deemed correct unless the tenant objects to it in writing within five days after receiving the report. If the landlord's written disclosure states that there is visible evidence of mold in the dwelling unit, the tenant shall have the option to terminate the tenancy and not take possession or remain in possession of the dwelling unit. If the tenant requests to take possession, or remain in possession, of the dwelling unit, notwithstanding the presence of visible evidence of mold, the landlord shall promptly remediate the mold condition but in no event later than five business days after the tenant's request to take possession or decision to remain in possession, reinspect the dwelling unit to confirm that there is no visible evidence of mold in the dwelling unit, and prepare a new report stating that there is no visible evidence of mold in the dwelling unit upon reinspection.

2004, c. 226, § 55-248.11:2; 2008, c. 640; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1216. (Effective October 1, 2019) Disclosure of sale of premises.

A. For the purpose of service of process and receiving and issuing receipts for notices and demands, the landlord or any person authorized to enter into a rental agreement on his behalf shall disclose to the tenant in writing at or before the beginning of the tenancy the name and address of:

1. The person authorized to manage the premises; and

2. An owner of the premises or any other person authorized to act for and on behalf of the owner.

B. In the event of the sale of the premises, the landlord shall notify the tenant of such sale and disclose to the tenant the name and address of the purchaser and a telephone number at which such purchaser can be located.

C. With respect to a multifamily dwelling unit, if an application for registration of the rental property as a condominium or cooperative has been filed with the Real Estate Board, or if there is within six months an existing plan for tenant displacement resulting from (i) demolition or substantial rehabilitation of the property or (ii) conversion of the rental property to office, hotel, or motel use or planned unit development, the landlord or any person authorized to enter into a rental agreement on his behalf shall disclose that information in writing to any prospective tenant.

D. The information required to be furnished by this section shall be kept current, and the provisions of this section extend to and are enforceable against any successor landlord or owner. A person who fails to comply with this section becomes an agent of each person who is a landlord for the purposes of service of process and receiving and issuing receipts for notices and demands.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.12; 1983, c. 257; 2000, c. 760; 2017, c. 730; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1217. (Effective October 1, 2019) Required disclosures for properties located adjacent to a military air installation; remedy for nondisclosure.

A. The landlord of property in any locality in which a military air installation is located, or any person authorized to enter into a rental agreement on his behalf, shall provide to a prospective tenant a written disclosure that the property is located in a noise zone or accident potential zone, or both, as designated by the locality on its official zoning map. Such disclosure shall be provided prior to the execution by the tenant of a written lease agreement or, in the case of an oral lease agreement, prior to occupancy by the tenant. The disclosure shall specify the noise zone or accident potential zone in which the property is located according to the official zoning map of the locality. A disclosure made pursuant to this section containing inaccurate information regarding the location of the noise zone or accident potential zone shall be deemed as nondisclosure unless the inaccurate information is provided by an officer or employee of the locality in which the property is located.

B. Any tenant who is not provided the disclosure required by subsection A may terminate the lease agreement at any time during the first 30 days of the lease period by sending to the landlord by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, a written notice of termination. Such termination shall be effective as of (i) 15 days after the date of the mailing of the notice or (ii) the date through which rent has been paid, whichever is later. In no event, however, shall the effective date of the termination exceed one month from the date of mailing. Termination of the lease agreement shall be the exclusive remedy for the failure to comply with the disclosure provisions of this section, and shall not affect any rights or duties of the landlord or tenant arising under this chapter, other applicable law, or the rental agreement.

2005, c. 511, § 55-248.12:1; 2017, c. 730; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1218. (Effective October 1, 2019) Required disclosures for properties with defective drywall; remedy for nondisclosure.

A. If the landlord of a dwelling unit has actual knowledge of the existence of defective drywall in such dwelling unit that has not been remediated, the landlord shall provide to a prospective tenant a written disclosure that the property has defective drywall. Such disclosure shall be provided prior to the execution by the tenant of a written lease agreement or, in the case of an oral lease agreement, prior to occupancy by the tenant. For purposes of this section, "defective drywall" means all defective drywall as defined in § 36-156.1.

B. Any tenant who is not provided the disclosure required by subsection A may terminate the lease agreement at any time within 60 days of discovery of the existence of defective drywall by providing written notice to the landlord in accordance with the lease or as required by law. Such termination shall be effective as of (i) 15 days after the date of the mailing of the notice or (ii) the date through which rent has been paid, whichever is later. In no event, however, shall the effective date of the termination exceed one month from the date of mailing. Termination of the lease agreement shall be the exclusive remedy for the failure to comply with the disclosure provisions of this section, and shall not affect any rights or duties of the landlord or tenant arising under this chapter, other applicable law, or the rental agreement.

2011, cc. 34, 46, § 55-248.12:2; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1219. (Effective October 1, 2019) Required disclosures for property previously used to manufacture methamphetamine; remedy for nondisclosure.

A. If the landlord of a dwelling unit has actual knowledge that the dwelling unit was previously used to manufacture methamphetamine and has not been cleaned up in accordance with the guidelines established pursuant to § 32.1-11.7 and the applicable licensing provisions of Chapter 11 (§ 54.1-1100 et seq.) of Title 54.1, the landlord shall provide to a prospective tenant a written disclosure that states such information. Such disclosure shall be provided prior to the execution by the tenant of a written lease agreement or, in the case of an oral lease agreement, prior to occupancy by the tenant.

B. Any tenant who is not provided the disclosure required by subsection A may terminate the lease agreement at any time within 60 days of discovery that the property was previously used to manufacture methamphetamine and has not been cleaned up in accordance with the guidelines established pursuant to § 32.1-11.7 by providing written notice to the landlord in accordance with the lease or as required by law. Such termination shall be effective as of (i) 15 days after the date of the mailing of the notice or (ii) the date through which rent has been paid, whichever is later. In no event, however, shall the effective date of the termination exceed one month from the date of mailing. Termination of the lease agreement shall be the exclusive remedy for the failure to comply with the disclosure provisions required by this section and shall not affect any rights or duties of the landlord or tenant arising under this chapter, other applicable law, or the rental agreement.

2013, c. 557, § 55-248.12:3; 2016, c. 527; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1220. (Effective October 1, 2019) Landlord to maintain fit premises.

A. The landlord shall:

1. Comply with the requirements of applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety;

2. Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition;

3. Keep all common areas shared by two or more dwelling units of a multifamily premises in a clean and structurally safe condition;

4. Maintain in good and safe working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by him;

5. Maintain the premises in such a condition as to prevent the accumulation of moisture and the growth of mold and promptly respond to any notices from a tenant as provided in subdivision A 10 of § 55.1-1227. Where there is visible evidence of mold, the landlord shall promptly remediate the mold conditions in accordance with the requirements of subsection E of § 8.01-226.12 and reinspect the dwelling unit to confirm that there is no longer visible evidence of mold in the dwelling unit. The landlord shall provide a tenant with a copy of a summary of information related to mold remediation occurring during that tenancy and, upon request of the tenant, make available the full package of such information and reports not protected by attorney-client privilege. Once the mold has been remediated in accordance with professional standards, the landlord shall not be required to make disclosures of a past incidence of mold to subsequent tenants;

6. Provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and conveniences for the collection, storage, and removal of ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste incidental to the occupancy of dwelling units and arrange for the removal of same;

7. Supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times and reasonable air conditioning if provided and heat in season except where the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat, air conditioning, or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant or supplied by a direct public utility connection; and

8. Provide a certificate to the tenant stating that all smoke alarms are present, have been inspected, and are in good working order no more than once every 12 months. The landlord, his employee, or an independent contractor may perform the inspection to determine that the smoke alarm is in good working order.

B. The landlord shall perform the duties imposed by subsection A in accordance with law; however, the landlord shall only be liable for the tenant's actual damages proximately caused by the landlord's failure to exercise ordinary care.

C. If the duty imposed by subdivision A 1 is greater than any duty imposed by any other subdivision of that subsection, the landlord's duty shall be determined by reference to subdivision A 1.

D. The landlord and tenant may agree in writing that the tenant perform the landlord's duties specified in subdivisions A 3, 6, and 7 and also specified repairs, maintenance tasks, alterations, and remodeling, but only if the transaction is entered into in good faith and not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the landlord and if the agreement does not diminish or affect the obligation of the landlord to other tenants in the premises.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.13; 1987, cc. 361, 636; 2000, c. 760; 2004, c. 226; 2007, c. 634; 2008, cc. 489, 640; 2009, c. 663; 2014, c. 632; 2015, c. 274; 2017, c. 730; 2018, cc. 41, 81; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1221. (Effective October 1, 2019) Landlord to provide locks and peepholes.

The governing body of any locality may require by ordinance that any landlord who rents five or more dwelling units in any one multifamily building shall install:

1. Dead-bolt locks that meet the requirements of the Uniform Statewide Building Code (§ 36-97 et seq.) for new multifamily construction and peepholes in any exterior swinging entrance door to any such unit; however, any door having a glass panel shall not require a peephole;

2. Manufacturer's locks that meet the requirements of the Uniform Statewide Building Code (§ 36-97 et seq.) and removable metal pins or charlie bars in accordance with the Uniform Statewide Building Code on exterior sliding glass doors located in a building at any level designated in the ordinance; and

3. Locking devices that meet the requirements of the Uniform Statewide Building Code (§ 36-97 et seq.) on all exterior windows.

Any ordinance adopted pursuant to this section shall further provide that any landlord subject to the ordinance shall have a reasonable time as determined by the governing body in which to comply with the requirements of the ordinance.

1977, c. 464, § 55-248.13:1; 1988, c. 500; 2017, c. 730; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1222. (Effective October 1, 2019) Access of tenant to cable, satellite, and other television facilities.

No landlord of a multifamily dwelling unit shall demand or accept payment of any fee, charge, or other thing of value from any provider of cable television service, cable modem service, satellite master antenna television service, direct broadcast satellite television service, subscription television service, or service of any other television programming system in exchange for granting a television service provider mere access to the landlord's tenants or giving the tenants of such landlord mere access to such service. A landlord may enter into a service agreement with a television service provider to provide marketing and other services to the television service provider designed to facilitate the television service provider's delivery of its services. Under such a service agreement, the television service provider may compensate the landlord for the reasonable value of the services provided and for the reasonable value of the landlord's property used by the television service provider.

No landlord shall demand or accept any such payment from any tenants in exchange for such service unless the landlord is itself the provider of the service, nor shall any landlord discriminate in rental charges between tenants who receive any such service and those who do not. Nothing contained in this section shall prohibit a landlord from (i) requiring that the provider of such service and the tenant bear the entire cost of the installation, operation, or removal of the facilities incident to such service or (ii) demanding or accepting reasonable indemnity or security for any damages caused by such installation, operation, or removal.

1982, c. 323, § 55-248.13:2; 2000, c. 760; 2003, cc. 60, 64, 68; 2017, c. 730; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1223. (Effective October 1, 2019) Notice to tenants for insecticide or pesticide use.

A. The landlord shall give written notice to the tenant no less than 48 hours prior to his application of an insecticide or pesticide in the tenant's dwelling unit unless the tenant agrees to a shorter notification period. If a tenant requests the application of the insecticide or pesticide, the 48-hour notice is not required. Tenants who have concerns about specific insecticides or pesticides shall notify the landlord in writing no less than 24 hours before the scheduled insecticide or pesticide application. The tenant shall prepare the dwelling unit for the application of insecticides or pesticides in accordance with any written instructions of the landlord and, if insects or pests are found to be present, follow any written instructions of the landlord to eliminate the insects or pests following the application of insecticides or pesticides.

B. In addition, the landlord shall post notice of all insecticide or pesticide applications in areas of the premises other than the dwelling units. Such notice shall consist of conspicuous signs placed in or upon such premises where the insecticide or pesticide will be applied at least 48 hours prior to the application.

C. A violation by the tenant of this section may be remedied by the landlord in accordance with § 55.1-1248 or by notice given by the landlord requiring the tenant to remedy in accordance with § 55.1-1245, as applicable.

2000, c. 760, § 55-248.13:3; 2009, c. 663; 2018, c. 221; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1224. (Effective October 1, 2019) Limitation of liability.

Unless otherwise agreed, a landlord who conveys premises that include a dwelling unit subject to a rental agreement in a good faith sale to a bona fide purchaser is relieved of liability under the rental agreement and this chapter as to events occurring subsequent to notice to the tenant of the conveyance. Unless otherwise agreed, a managing agent of premises that includes a dwelling unit is relieved of liability under the rental agreement and this chapter as to events occurring after written notice to the tenant of the termination of his management.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.14; 1987, c. 313; 2000, c. 760; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1225. (Effective October 1, 2019) Tenancy at will; effect of notice of change of terms or provisions of tenancy.

A notice of any change by a landlord or tenant in any terms or provisions of a tenancy at will shall constitute a notice to vacate the premises, and such notice of change shall be given in accordance with the terms of the rental agreement, if any, or as otherwise required by law.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.15; 2000, c. 760; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1226. (Effective October 1, 2019) Security deposits.

A. No landlord may demand or receive a security deposit, however denominated, in an amount or value in excess of two months' periodic rent. Upon termination of the tenancy, such security deposit, whether it is property or money held by the landlord as security as provided in this section, may be applied by the landlord solely to (i) the payment of accrued rent, including the reasonable charges for late payment of rent specified in the rental agreement; (ii) the payment of the amount of damages that the landlord has suffered by reason of the tenant's noncompliance with § 55.1-1227, less reasonable wear and tear; (iii) other damages or charges as provided in the rental agreement; or (iv) actual damages for breach of the rental agreement pursuant to § 55.1-1251. The security deposit and any deductions, damages, and charges shall be itemized by the landlord in a written notice given to the tenant, together with any amount due to the tenant, within 45 days after the termination date of the tenancy. As of the date of the termination of the tenancy or the date the tenant vacates the dwelling unit, whichever occurs last, the tenant shall be required to deliver possession of the dwelling unit to the landlord. If the termination date is prior to the expiration of the rental agreement or any renewal thereof, or the tenant has not given proper notice of termination of the rental agreement, the tenant shall be liable for actual damages pursuant to § 55.1-1251, in which case, the landlord shall give written notice of security deposit disposition within the 45-day period but may retain any security balance to apply against any financial obligations of the tenant to the landlord pursuant to this chapter or the rental agreement. If the tenant fails to vacate the dwelling unit as of the termination of the tenancy, the landlord may file an unlawful detainer action pursuant to § 8.01-126.

B. Where there is more than one tenant subject to a rental agreement, unless otherwise agreed to in writing by each of the tenants, disposition of the security deposit shall be made with one check being payable to all such tenants and sent to a forwarding address provided by one of the tenants. The landlord shall make the security deposit disposition within the 45-day time period required by subsection A, but if no forwarding address is provided to the landlord, the landlord may continue to hold such security deposit in escrow. If a tenant fails to provide a forwarding address to the landlord to enable the landlord to make a refund of the security deposit, upon the expiration of one year from the date of the end of the 45-day time period, the landlord may remit such sum to the State Treasurer as unclaimed property on a form prescribed by the administrator that includes the name; social security number, if known; and last known address of each tenant on the rental agreement. If the landlord or managing agent is a real estate licensee, compliance with this subsection shall be deemed compliance with § 54.1-2108 and corresponding regulations of the Real Estate Board.

C. Nothing in this section shall be construed by a court of law or otherwise as entitling the tenant, upon the termination of the tenancy, to an immediate credit against the tenant's delinquent rent account in the amount of the security deposit. The landlord shall apply the security deposit in accordance with this section within the 45-day time period required by subsection A. However, provided that the landlord has given prior written notice in accordance with this section, the landlord may withhold a reasonable portion of the security deposit to cover an amount of the balance due on the water, sewer, or other utility account that is an obligation of the tenant to a third-party provider under the rental agreement for the dwelling unit, and upon payment of such obligations the landlord shall provide written confirmation to the tenant within 10 days, along with payment to the tenant of any balance otherwise due to the tenant. In order to withhold such funds as part of the disposition of the security deposit, the landlord shall have so advised the tenant of his rights and obligations under this section in (i) a termination notice to the tenant in accordance with this chapter, (ii) a written notice to the tenant confirming the vacating date in accordance with this section, or (iii) a separate written notice to the tenant at least 15 days prior to the disposition of the security deposit. Any written notice to the tenant shall be given in accordance with § 55.1-1202.

The tenant may provide the landlord with written confirmation of the payment of the final water, sewer, or other utility bill for the dwelling unit, in which case the landlord shall refund the security deposit, unless there are other authorized deductions, within the 45-day period required by subsection A. If the tenant provides such written confirmation after the expiration of the 45-day period, the landlord shall refund any remaining balance of the security deposit held to the tenant within 10 days following the receipt of such written confirmation provided by the tenant. If the landlord otherwise receives confirmation of payment of the final water, sewer, or other utility bill for the dwelling unit, the landlord shall refund the security deposit, unless there are other authorized deductions, within the 45-day period.

D. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the landlord from making the disposition of the security deposit prior to the 45-day period required by subsection A and charging an administrative fee to the tenant for such expedited processing, if the rental agreement so provides and the tenant requests expedited processing in a separate written document.

E. The landlord shall notify the tenant in writing of any deductions provided by this section to be made from the tenant's security deposit during the course of the tenancy. Such notification shall be made within 30 days of the date of the determination of the deduction and shall itemize the reasons in the same manner as provided in subsection F. No such notification shall be required for deductions made less than 30 days prior to the termination of the rental agreement. If the landlord willfully fails to comply with this section, the court shall order the return of the security deposit to the tenant, together with actual damages and reasonable attorney fees, unless the tenant owes rent to the landlord, in which case the court shall order an amount equal to the security deposit credited against the rent due to the landlord. In the event that damages to the premises exceed the amount of the security deposit and require the services of a third-party contractor, the landlord shall give written notice to the tenant advising him of that fact within the 45-day period required by subsection A. If notice is given as prescribed in this subsection, the landlord shall have an additional 15-day period to provide an itemization of the damages and the cost of repair. This section shall not preclude the landlord or tenant from recovering other damages to which he may be entitled under this chapter. The holder of the landlord's interest in the premises at the time of the termination of the tenancy, regardless of how the interest is acquired or transferred, is bound by this section and shall be required to return any security deposit received by the original landlord that is duly owed to the tenant, whether or not such security deposit is transferred with the landlord's interest by law or equity, regardless of any contractual agreements between the original landlord and his successors in interest.

F. The landlord shall:

1. Maintain and itemize records for each tenant of all deductions from security deposits provided for under this section that the landlord has made by reason of a tenant's noncompliance with § 55.1-1227, or for any other reason set out in this section, during the preceding two years; and

2. Permit a tenant or his authorized agent or attorney to inspect such tenant's records of deductions at any time during normal business hours.

G. Upon request by the landlord to a tenant to vacate, or within five days after receipt of notice by the landlord of the tenant's intent to vacate, the landlord shall provide written notice to the tenant of the tenant's right to be present at the landlord's inspection of the dwelling unit for the purpose of determining the amount of security deposit to be returned. If the tenant desires to be present when the landlord makes the inspection, he shall, in writing, so advise the landlord, who in turn shall notify the tenant of the date and time of the inspection, which must be made within 72 hours of delivery of possession. Following the move-out inspection, the landlord shall provide the tenant with a written security deposit disposition statement, including an itemized list of damages. If additional damages are discovered by the landlord after the security deposit disposition has been made, nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude the landlord from recovery of such damages against the tenant, provided, however, that the tenant may present into evidence a copy of the move-out report to support the tenant's position that such additional damages did not exist at the time of the move-out inspection.

H. If the tenant has any assignee or sublessee, the landlord shall be entitled to hold a security deposit from only one party in compliance with the provisions of this section.

2000, cc. 760, 761, § 55-248.15:1; 2001, c. 524; 2003, c. 438; 2007, c. 634; 2010, c. 550; 2013, c. 563; 2014, c. 651; 2015, c. 596; 2017, c. 730; 2018, c. 221; 2019, c. 712.

Article 3. Tenant Obligations

§ 55.1-1227. (Effective October 1, 2019) Tenant to maintain dwelling unit.

A. In addition to the provisions of the rental agreement, the tenant shall:

1. Comply with all obligations primarily imposed upon tenants by applicable provisions of building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety;

2. Keep that part of the dwelling unit and the part of the premises that he occupies and uses as clean and safe as the condition of the premises permit;

3. Keep that part of the dwelling unit and the part of the premises that he occupies free from insects and pests, as those terms are defined in § 3.2-3900, and promptly notify the landlord of the existence of any insects or pests;

4. Remove from his dwelling unit all ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other waste in a clean and safe manner and in the appropriate receptacles provided by the landlord;

5. Keep all plumbing fixtures in the dwelling unit or used by the tenant as clean as their condition permits;

6. Use in a reasonable manner all utilities and all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including an elevator in a multifamily premises, and keep all utility services paid for by the tenant to the utility service provider or its agent on at all times during the term of the rental agreement;

7. Not deliberately or negligently destroy, deface, damage, impair, or remove any part of the premises or permit any person, whether known by the tenant or not, to do so;

8. Not remove or tamper with a properly functioning smoke alarm installed by the landlord, including removing any working batteries, so as to render the alarm inoperative. The tenant shall maintain the smoke alarm in accordance with the uniform set of standards for maintenance of smoke alarms established in the Statewide Fire Prevention Code (§ 27-94 et seq.) and subdivision C 6 of § 36-105, Part III of the Uniform Statewide Building Code (§ 36-97 et seq.);

9. Not remove or tamper with a properly functioning carbon monoxide alarm installed by the landlord, including the removal of any working batteries, so as to render the carbon monoxide alarm inoperative. The tenant shall maintain the carbon monoxide alarm in accordance with the uniform set of standards for maintenance of carbon monoxide alarms established in the Statewide Fire Prevention Code (§ 27-94 et seq.) and subdivision C 6 of § 36-105, Part III of the Uniform Statewide Building Code (§ 36-97 et seq.);

10. Use reasonable efforts to maintain the dwelling unit and any other part of the premises that he occupies in such a condition as to prevent accumulation of moisture and the growth of mold and promptly notify the landlord of any moisture accumulation that occurs or of any visible evidence of mold discovered by the tenant;

11. Not paint or disturb painted surfaces or make alterations in the dwelling unit without the prior written approval of the landlord, provided that (i) the dwelling unit was constructed prior to 1978 and therefore requires the landlord to provide the tenant with lead-based paint disclosures and (ii) the landlord has provided the tenant with such disclosures and the rental agreement provides that the tenant is required to obtain the landlord's prior written approval before painting, disturbing painted surfaces, or making alterations in the dwelling unit;

12. Be responsible for his conduct and the conduct of other persons, whether known by the tenant or not, who are on the premises with his consent, to ensure that his neighbors' peaceful enjoyment of the premises will not be disturbed;

13. Abide by all reasonable rules and regulations imposed by the landlord;

14. Be financially responsible for the added cost of treatment or extermination due to the tenant's unreasonable delay in reporting the existence of any insects or pests and be financially responsible for the cost of treatment or extermination due to the tenant's fault in failing to prevent infestation of any insects or pests in the area occupied; and

15. Use reasonable care to prevent any dog or other animal in possession of the tenant, authorized occupants, or guests or invitees from causing personal injuries to a third party in the dwelling unit or on the premises, or property damage to the dwelling unit or the premises.

B. If the duty imposed by subdivision A 1 is greater than any duty imposed by any other subdivision of that subsection, the tenant's duty shall be determined by reference to subdivision A 1.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.16; 1987, c. 428; 1999, c. 80; 2000, c. 760; 2003, c. 355; 2004, c. 226; 2008, cc. 489, 617, 640; 2009, c. 663; 2011, c. 766; 2014, c. 632; 2016, c. 744; 2017, cc. 262, 730; 2018, cc. 41, 81, 221; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1228. (Effective October 1, 2019) Rules and regulations.

A. A landlord, from time to time, may adopt rules or regulations, however described, concerning the tenant's use and occupancy of the dwelling unit and premises. Any such rule or regulation is enforceable against the tenant only if:

1. Its purpose is to promote the convenience, safety, or welfare of the tenants in the premises, preserve the landlord's property from abusive use, or make a fair distribution of services and facilities held out for the tenants generally;

2. It is reasonably related to the purpose for which it is adopted;

3. It applies to all tenants in the premises in a fair manner;

4. It is sufficiently explicit in its prohibition, direction, or limitation of the tenant's conduct to fairly inform him of what he is required to do or is prohibited from doing to comply;

5. It is not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the landlord; and

6. The tenant has been provided with a copy of the rules and regulations or changes to such rules and regulations at the time he enters into the rental agreement or when they are adopted.

B. A rule or regulation adopted, changed, or provided to the tenant after the tenant enters into the rental agreement shall be enforceable against the tenant if reasonable notice of its adoption or change has been given to the tenant and it does not constitute a substantial modification of his bargain. If a rule or regulation adopted or changed after the tenant enters into the rental agreement does constitute a substantial modification of his bargain, it shall not be valid unless the tenant consents to it in writing.

C. Any court enforcing this chapter shall consider violations of the reasonable rules and regulations imposed under this section as a breach of the rental agreement and grant the landlord appropriate relief.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.17; 2000, c. 760; 2017, c. 730; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1229. (Effective October 1, 2019) Access; consent; correction of nonemergency conditions; relocation of tenant; security systems.

A. The tenant shall not unreasonably withhold consent to the landlord to enter into the dwelling unit in order to inspect the premises; make necessary or agreed-upon repairs, decorations, alterations, or improvements; supply necessary or agreed-upon services; or exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual purchasers, mortgagees, tenants, workmen, or contractors. If, upon inspection of a dwelling unit during the term of a tenancy, the landlord determines there is a violation by the tenant of § 55.1-1227 or the rental agreement materially affecting health and safety that can be remedied by repair, replacement of a damaged item, or cleaning in accordance with § 55.1-1248, the landlord may make such repairs and send the tenant an invoice for payment. If, upon inspection of the dwelling unit during the term of a tenancy, the landlord discovers a violation of the rental agreement, this chapter, or other applicable law, the landlord may send a written notice of termination pursuant to § 55.1-1245. If the rental agreement so provides and if a tenant without reasonable justification declines to permit the landlord or managing agent to exhibit the dwelling unit for sale or lease, the landlord may recover damages, costs, and reasonable attorney fees against such tenant.

The landlord may enter the dwelling unit without consent of the tenant in case of emergency. The landlord shall not abuse the right of access or use it to harass the tenant. Except in case of emergency or if it is impractical to do so, the landlord shall give the tenant notice of his intent to enter and may enter only at reasonable times. Unless impractical to do so, the landlord shall give the tenant at least 24 hours' notice of routine maintenance to be performed that has not been requested by the tenant. If the tenant makes a request for maintenance, the landlord is not required to provide notice to the tenant. During the pendency of an unlawful detainer filed by the landlord against the tenant, the landlord may request the court to enter an order requiring the tenant to provide the landlord with access to such dwelling unit.

B. Upon the sole determination by the landlord of the existence of a nonemergency property condition in the dwelling unit that requires the tenant to temporarily vacate the dwelling unit in order for the landlord to properly remedy such property condition, the landlord may, upon at least 30 days' written notice to the tenant, require the tenant to temporarily vacate the dwelling unit for a period not to exceed 30 days to a comparable dwelling unit, or hotel, as selected by the landlord and at no expense or cost to the tenant. The landlord shall not be required to pay for any other expenses of the tenant that arise after the temporary relocation period. The landlord and tenant may agree for the tenant to temporarily vacate the dwelling unit in less than 30 days. For purposes of this subsection, "nonemergency property condition" means (i) a condition in the dwelling unit that, in the determination of the landlord, is necessary for the landlord to remedy in order for the landlord to be in compliance with § 55.1-1220; (ii) the condition does not need to be remedied within a 24-hour period, with any condition that needs to be remedied within 24 hours being defined as an "emergency condition"; and (iii) the condition can only be effectively remedied by the temporary relocation of the tenant pursuant to the provisions of this subsection.

The tenant shall continue to be responsible for payment of rent under the rental agreement during the period of any temporary relocation. The landlord shall pay all costs of repairs or remediation required to address the nonemergency property condition. Refusal of the tenant to cooperate with a temporary relocation pursuant to this subsection shall be deemed a breach of the rental agreement, unless the tenant agrees to vacate the unit and terminate the rental agreement within the 30-day notice period. If the landlord properly remedies the nonemergency property condition within the 30-day period, nothing in this section shall be construed to entitle the tenant to terminate the rental agreement. Further, nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the landlord from taking legal action against the tenant for any noncompliance that occurs during the period of any temporary relocation pursuant to this subsection. During the pendency of an unlawful detainer filed by the landlord against the tenant, the landlord may request the court to enter an order requiring the tenant to provide the landlord with access to such dwelling unit.

C. The landlord has no other right to access except by court order or that permitted by §§ 55.1-1248 and 55.1-1249 or if the tenant has abandoned or surrendered the premises.

D. The tenant may install within the dwelling unit new security systems that the tenant may believe necessary to ensure his safety, including chain latch devices approved by the landlord and fire detection devices, provided that:

1. Installation does no permanent damage to any part of the dwelling unit;

2. A duplicate of all keys and instructions for the operation of all devices are given to the landlord; and

3. Upon termination of the tenancy, the tenant is responsible for payment to the landlord for reasonable costs incurred for the removal of all such devices and repairs to all damaged areas.

E. Upon written request of a tenant in a dwelling unit, the landlord shall install a carbon monoxide alarm in the tenant's dwelling unit within 90 days. The landlord may charge the tenant a reasonable fee to recover the costs of the equipment and labor for such installation. The landlord's installation of a carbon monoxide alarm shall be in compliance with the Uniform Statewide Building Code (§ 36-97 et seq.).

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.18; 1993, c. 634; 1995, c. 601; 1999, c. 65; 2000, c. 760; 2001, c. 524; 2004, c. 307; 2008, cc. 489, 617; 2009, c. 663; 2011, c. 766; 2014, c. 632; 2015, c. 596; 2016, c. 744; 2017, c. 730; 2018, cc. 41, 81; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1230. (Effective October 1, 2019) Access following entry of certain court orders.

A. A tenant or authorized occupant who has obtained an order from a court pursuant to § 16.1-279.1 or subsection B of § 20-103 granting such tenant possession of the premises to the exclusion of one or more co-tenants or authorized occupants may provide the landlord with a copy of that court order and request that the landlord either (i) install a new lock or other security devices on the exterior doors of the dwelling unit at the landlord's actual cost or (ii) permit the tenant or authorized occupant to do so, provided that:

1. Installation of the new lock or security devices does no permanent damage to any part of the dwelling unit; and

2. A duplicate copy of all keys and instructions for the operation of all devices are given to the landlord.

Upon termination of the tenancy, the tenant shall be responsible for payment to the landlord of the reasonable costs incurred for the removal of all such devices installed and repairs to all damaged areas.

B. A person who is not a tenant or authorized occupant of the dwelling unit and who has obtained an order from a court pursuant to § 16.1-279.1 or subsection B of § 20-103 granting such person possession of the premises to the exclusion of one or more co-tenants or authorized occupants may provide a copy of such order to the landlord and submit a rental application to become a tenant of such dwelling unit within 10 days of the entry of such order. If such person's rental application meets the landlord's tenant selection criteria, such person may become a tenant of such dwelling unit under a written rental agreement. If such person submits a rental application and does not meet the landlord's tenant selection criteria, such person shall vacate the dwelling unit no later than 30 days after the date the landlord gives such person written notice that his rental application has been rejected. If such person does not provide a copy of the protective order to the landlord and submit a rental application to the landlord within 10 days as required by this section, such person shall vacate the dwelling unit no later than 30 days after the date of the entry of such order. Such person shall be liable to the landlord for failure to vacate the dwelling unit as required in this section.

Any tenant obligated on a rental agreement shall pay the rent and otherwise comply with any and all requirements of the rental agreement and any applicable laws and regulations. The landlord may pursue all of its remedies under the rental agreement and applicable laws and regulations, including filing an unlawful detainer action pursuant to § 8.01-126 to obtain a money judgment and to evict any persons residing in such dwelling unit.

C. A landlord who has received a copy of a court order in accordance with subsection A shall not provide copies of any keys to the dwelling unit to any person excluded from the premises by such order.

D. This section shall not apply when the court order excluding a person was issued ex parte.

2005, cc. 735, 825, § 55-248.18:1; 2016, c. 595; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1231. (Effective October 1, 2019) Relocation of tenant where mold remediation needs to be performed in the dwelling unit.

Where a mold condition in the dwelling unit materially affects the health or safety of any tenant or authorized occupant, the landlord may require the tenant to temporarily vacate the dwelling unit in order for the landlord to perform mold remediation in accordance with professional standards as defined in § 55.1-1200 for a period not to exceed 30 days. The landlord shall provide the tenant with either (i) a comparable dwelling unit, as selected by the landlord, at no expense or cost to the tenant or (ii) a hotel room, as selected by the landlord, at no expense or cost to the tenant. The landlord shall not be required to pay for any other expenses of the tenant that arise after the relocation period. The tenant shall continue to be responsible for payment of rent under the rental agreement during the period of any temporary relocation and for the remainder of the term of the rental agreement following the remediation. Nothing in this section shall be construed as entitling the tenant to a termination of a tenancy where the landlord has remediated a mold condition in accordance with professional standards as defined in § 55.1-1200. The landlord shall pay all costs of the relocation and the mold remediation, unless the mold is a result of the tenant's failure to comply with § 55.1-1227.

2008, c. 640, § 55-248.18:2; 2009, c. 663; 2011, c. 779; 2016, c. 744; 2017, c. 730; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1232. (Effective October 1, 2019) Use and occupancy by tenant.

Unless otherwise agreed, the tenant shall occupy his dwelling unit only as a residence.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.19; 2000, c. 760; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1233. (Effective October 1, 2019) Tenant to surrender possession of dwelling unit.

At the termination of the term of tenancy, whether by expiration of the rental agreement or by reason of default by the tenant, the tenant shall promptly vacate the premises, removing all items of personal property and leaving the premises in good and clean order, reasonable wear and tear excepted. If the tenant fails to vacate, the landlord may bring an action for possession and damages, including reasonable attorney fees.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.20; 2000, c. 760; 2019, c. 712.

Article 4. Tenant Remedies

§ 55.1-1234. (Effective October 1, 2019) Noncompliance by landlord.

Except as provided in this chapter, if there is a material noncompliance by the landlord with the rental agreement or a noncompliance with any provision of this chapter, materially affecting health and safety, the tenant may serve a written notice on the landlord specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach and stating that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than 30 days after receipt of the notice if such breach is not remedied in 21 days.

If the landlord commits a breach that is not remediable, the tenant may serve a written notice on the landlord specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach and stating that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than 30 days after receipt of the notice.

If the landlord has been served with a prior written notice that required the landlord to remedy a breach, and the landlord remedied such breach, where the landlord intentionally commits a subsequent breach of a like nature as the prior breach, the tenant may serve a written notice on the landlord specifying the acts and omissions constituting the subsequent breach, make reference to the prior breach of a like nature, and state that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than 30 days after receipt of the notice.

If the breach is remediable by repairs and the landlord adequately remedies the breach prior to the date specified in the notice, the rental agreement will not terminate. The tenant may not terminate for a condition caused by the deliberate or negligent act or omission of the tenant, an authorized occupant, or a guest or invitee of the tenant. In addition, the tenant may recover damages and obtain injunctive relief for noncompliance by the landlord with the provisions of the rental agreement or of this chapter. The tenant shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorney fees unless the landlord proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the landlord's actions were reasonable under the circumstances. If the rental agreement is terminated due to the landlord's noncompliance, the landlord shall return the security deposit in accordance with § 55.1-1226.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.21; 1982, c. 260; 1987, c. 387; 2000, c. 760; 2003, c. 363; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1235. (Effective October 1, 2019) Early termination of rental agreement by military personnel.

A. Any member of the Armed Forces of the United States or a member of the National Guard serving on full-time duty or as a civil service technician with the National Guard may, through the procedure detailed in subsection B, terminate his rental agreement if the member (i) has received permanent change of station orders to depart 35 miles or more (radius) from the location of the dwelling unit, (ii) has received temporary duty orders in excess of three months' duration to depart 35 miles or more (radius) from the location of the dwelling unit, (iii) is discharged or released from active duty with the Armed Forces of the United States or from his full-time duty or technician status with the National Guard, or (iv) is ordered to report to government-supplied quarters resulting in the forfeiture of basic allowance for quarters.

B. Tenants who qualify to terminate a rental agreement pursuant to subsection A shall do so by serving on the landlord a written notice of termination to be effective on a date stated in such written notice, such date to be not less than 30 days after the first date on which the next rental payment is due and payable after the date on which the written notice is given. The termination date shall be no more than 60 days prior to the date of departure necessary to comply with the official orders or any supplemental instructions for interim training or duty prior to the transfer. Prior to the termination date, the tenant shall furnish the landlord with a copy of the official notification of the orders or a signed letter, confirming the orders, from the tenant's commanding officer.

C. The landlord may not charge any liquidated damages.

D. Nothing in this section shall affect the tenant's obligations established by § 55.1-1227.

1977, c. 427, § 55-248.21:1; 1978, c. 104; 1982, c. 260; 1983, c. 241; 1986, c. 29; 1988, c. 184; 2000, c. 760; 2002, c. 760; 2005, c. 742; 2006, c. 667; 2007, c. 252; 2017, c. 730; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1236. (Effective October 1, 2019) Early termination of rental agreements by victims of family abuse, sexual abuse, or criminal sexual assault.

A. Any tenant who is a victim of (i) family abuse as defined by § 16.1-228, (ii) sexual abuse as defined by § 18.2-67.10, or (iii) other criminal sexual assault under Article 7 (§ 18.2-61 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2 may terminate such tenant's obligations under a rental agreement under the following circumstances:

1. The victim has obtained an order of protection pursuant to § 16.1-279.1 and has given written notice of termination in accordance with subsection B during the period of the protective order or any extension thereof; or

2. A court has entered an order convicting a perpetrator of any crime of sexual assault under Article 7 (§ 18.2-61 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2, sexual abuse as defined by § 18.2-67.10, or family abuse as defined by § 16.1-228 against the victim and the victim gives written notice of termination in accordance with subsection B. A victim may exercise a right of termination under this section to terminate a rental agreement in effect when the conviction order is entered and one subsequent rental agreement based upon the same conviction.

B. A tenant who qualifies to terminate such tenant's obligations under a rental agreement pursuant to subsection A shall do so by serving on the landlord a written notice of termination to be effective on a date stated in such written notice, such date to be not less than 30 days after the first date on which the next rental payment is due and payable after the date on which the written notice is given. When the tenant serves the termination notice on the landlord, the tenant shall also provide the landlord with a copy of (i) the order of protection issued or (ii) the conviction order.

C. The rent shall be payable at such time as would otherwise have been required by the terms of the rental agreement through the effective date of the termination as provided in subsection B.

D. The landlord may not charge any liquidated damages.

E. The victim's obligations as a tenant under § 55.1-1227 shall continue through the effective date of the termination as provided in subsection B. Any co-tenants on the lease with the victim shall remain responsible for the rent for the balance of the term of the rental agreement. If the perpetrator is the remaining sole tenant obligated on the rental agreement, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement and collect actual damages for such termination against the perpetrator pursuant to § 55.1-1251.

2013, c. 531, § 55-248.21:2; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1237. (Effective October 1, 2019) Notice to tenant in event of foreclosure.

A. The landlord of a dwelling unit used as a single-family residence shall give written notice to the tenant or any prospective tenant of such dwelling unit that the landlord has received a notice of a mortgage default, mortgage acceleration, or foreclosure sale relative to the loan on the dwelling unit within five business days after written notice from the lender is received by the landlord. This requirement shall not apply (i) to any managing agent who does not receive a copy of such written notice from the lender or (ii) if the tenant or prospective tenant provides a copy of the written notice from the lender to the landlord or the managing agent.

B. If the landlord fails to provide the notice required by this section, the tenant shall have the right to terminate the rental agreement upon written notice to the landlord at least five business days prior to the effective date of termination. If the tenant terminates the rental agreement, the landlord shall make disposition of the tenant's security deposit in accordance with law or the provisions of the rental agreement, whichever is applicable.

C. If there is in effect at the date of the foreclosure sale a tenant in a dwelling unit foreclosed upon, the foreclosure shall act as a termination of the rental agreement by the owner. In such case, the tenant may remain in possession of such dwelling unit as a month-to-month tenant on the terms of the terminated rental agreement until the successor owner gives a notice of termination of such month-to-month tenancy. If the successor owner elects to terminate the month-to-month tenancy, written notice of such termination shall be given in accordance with the rental agreement or the provisions of § 55.1-1202 or 55.1-1410, as applicable.

D. Unless or until the successor owner terminates the month-to-month tenancy, the terms of the terminated rental agreement remain in effect except that the tenant shall make rental payments (i) to the successor owner as directed in a written notice to the tenant in this subsection; (ii) to the managing agent of the owner, if any, or successor owner; or (iii) into a court escrow account pursuant to the provisions of § 55.1-1244; however, there is no obligation of a tenant to file a tenant's assertion and pay rent into escrow. Where there is not a managing agent designated in the terminated rental agreement, the tenant shall remain obligated for payment of the rent but shall not be held to be delinquent or assessed a late charge until the successor owner provides written notice identifying the name, address, and telephone number of the party to which the rent should be paid.

E. The successor owner may enter into a new rental agreement with the tenant in the dwelling unit, in which case, upon the commencement date of the new rental agreement, the month-to-month tenancy shall terminate.

2018, c. 221, § 55-248.21:3; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1238. (Effective October 1, 2019) Failure to deliver possession.

If the landlord willfully fails to deliver possession of the dwelling unit to the tenant, then rent abates until possession is delivered, and the tenant may (i) terminate the rental agreement upon at least five days' written notice to the landlord, upon which termination the landlord shall return all prepaid rent and security deposits, or (ii) demand performance of the rental agreement by the landlord. If the tenant elects, he may file an action for possession of the dwelling unit against the landlord or any person wrongfully in possession and recover the damages sustained by him. If a person's failure to deliver possession is willful and not in good faith, an aggrieved person may recover from that person the actual damages sustained by him and reasonable attorney fees.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.22; 2000, c. 760; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1239. (Effective October 1, 2019) Wrongful failure to supply an essential service.

A. If contrary to the rental agreement or provisions of this chapter the landlord willfully or negligently fails to supply an essential service, the tenant shall serve a written notice on the landlord specifying the breach, if acting under this section, and, in such event and after allowing the landlord reasonable time to correct such breach, may:

1. Recover damages based upon the diminution in the fair rental value of the dwelling unit; or

2. Procure reasonable substitute housing during the period of the landlord's noncompliance, in which case the tenant is excused from paying rent for the period of the landlord's noncompliance, as determined by the court.

B. If the tenant proceeds under this section, he shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorney fees; however, he may not proceed under § 55.1-1234 as to that breach. The rights of the tenant under this section shall not arise until he has given written notice to the landlord; however, no rights arise if the condition was caused by the deliberate or negligent act or omission of the tenant, an authorized occupant, or a guest or invitee of the tenant.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.23; 1982, c. 260; 2000, c. 760; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1240. (Effective October 1, 2019) Fire or casualty damage.

If the dwelling unit or premises is damaged or destroyed by fire or casualty to an extent that the tenant's enjoyment of the dwelling unit is substantially impaired or required repairs can only be accomplished if the tenant vacates the dwelling unit, either the tenant or the landlord may terminate the rental agreement. The tenant may terminate the rental agreement by vacating the premises and within 14 days thereafter, serving on the landlord a written notice of his intention to terminate the rental agreement, in which case the rental agreement terminates as of the date of vacating. If continued occupancy is lawful, § 55.1-1411 shall apply.

The landlord may terminate the rental agreement by giving the tenant 14 days' notice of his intention to terminate the rental agreement on the basis of the landlord's determination that such damage requires the removal of the tenant and that the use of the premises is substantially impaired, in which case the rental agreement terminates as of the expiration of the notice period.

If the rental agreement is terminated, the landlord shall return all security deposits in accordance with § 55.1-1226 and prepaid rent, plus accrued interest, recoverable by law unless the landlord reasonably believes that the tenant, an authorized occupant, or a guest or invitee of the tenant was the cause of the damage or casualty, in which case the landlord shall provide a written statement to the tenant for the security and prepaid rent, plus accrued interest based upon the damage or casualty, and may recover actual damages sustained pursuant to § 55.1-1251. Proration for rent in the event of termination or apportionment shall be made as of the date of the casualty.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.24; 1982, c. 260; 2000, c. 760; 2005, c. 807; 2011, c. 766; 2015, c. 596; 2016, c. 744; 2017, c. 730; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1241. (Effective October 1, 2019) Landlord's noncompliance as defense to action for possession for nonpayment of rent.

A. In an action for possession based upon nonpayment of rent or in an action for rent by a landlord when the tenant is in possession, the tenant may assert as a defense that there exists upon the leased premises a condition that constitutes, or will constitute, a fire hazard or a serious threat to the life, health, or safety of the occupants of the dwelling unit, including (i) a lack of heat, running water, light, electricity, or adequate sewage disposal facilities; (ii) an infestation of rodents; or (iii) a condition that constitutes material noncompliance on the part of the landlord with the rental agreement or provisions of law. The assertion of any defense provided for in this section shall be conditioned upon the following:

1. Prior to the commencement of the action for rent or possession, the landlord or his agent refused or, having a reasonable opportunity to do so, failed to remedy the condition for which he was served a written notice of the condition by the tenant or was notified of such condition by a violation or condemnation notice from an appropriate state or local agency. For the purposes of this subsection, what period of time shall be deemed to be unreasonable delay is left to the discretion of the court, except that there shall be a rebuttable presumption that a period in excess of 30 days from receipt of the notification by the landlord is unreasonable; and

2. The tenant, if in possession, has paid into court the amount of rent found by the court to be due and unpaid, to be held by the court pending the issuance of an order under subsection C.

B. It shall be a sufficient answer to such a defense provided for in this section if the landlord establishes that (i) the conditions alleged in the defense do not in fact exist; (ii) such conditions have been removed or remedied; (iii) such conditions have been caused by the tenant, his guest or invitee, members of the family of such tenant, or a guest or invitee of such family member; or (iv) the tenant has unreasonably refused entry to the landlord to the premises for the purposes of correcting such conditions.

C. The court shall make findings of fact upon any defense raised under this section or the answer to any defense and shall issue any order as may be required, including any one or more of the following:

1. Reducing rent in such amount as the court determines to be equitable to represent the existence of any condition set forth in subsection A;

2. Terminating the rental agreement or ordering the surrender of the premises to the landlord; or

3. Referring any matter before the court to the proper state or local agency for investigation and report and granting a continuance of the action or complaint pending receipt of such investigation and report. When such a continuance is granted, the tenant shall deposit with the court any rents that will become due during the period of continuance, to be held by the court pending its further order, or, in its discretion, the court may use such funds to (i) pay a mortgage on the property in order to stay a foreclosure, (ii) pay a creditor to prevent or satisfy a bill to enforce a mechanic's or materialman's lien, or (iii) remedy any condition set forth in subsection A that is found by the court to exist.

D. If it appears that the tenant has raised a defense under this section in bad faith or has caused the violation or has unreasonably refused entry to the landlord for the purpose of correcting the condition giving rise to the violation, the court may impose upon the tenant the reasonable costs of the landlord, including court costs, the costs of repair where the court finds the tenant has caused the violation, and reasonable attorney fees.

E. If the court finds that the tenant has successfully raised a defense under this section and enters judgment for the tenant, the court, in its discretion, may impose upon the landlord the reasonable costs of the tenant, including court costs, and reasonable attorney fees.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.25; 1982, c. 260; 2000, c. 760; 2019, cc. 324, 712.

§ 55.1-1242. (Effective October 1, 2019) Rent escrow required for continuance of tenant's case.

A. Where a landlord has filed an unlawful detainer action seeking possession of the premises as provided by this chapter and the tenant seeks to obtain a continuance of the action or to set it for a contested trial, the court shall, upon request of the landlord, order the tenant to pay an amount equal to the rent that is due as of the initial court date into the court escrow account prior to granting the tenant's request for a delayed court date. However, if the tenant asserts a good faith defense, and the court so finds, the court shall not require the rent to be escrowed. If the landlord requests a continuance or to set the case for a contested trial, the court shall not require the rent to be escrowed.

B. If the court finds that the tenant has not asserted a good faith defense, the tenant shall be required to pay an amount determined by the court to be proper into the court escrow account in order for the case to be continued or set for contested trial. The court may grant the tenant a continuance of no more than one week to make full payment of the court-ordered amount into the court escrow account. If the tenant fails to pay the entire amount ordered, the court shall, upon request of the landlord, enter judgment for the landlord and enter an order of possession of the premises.

C. The court shall further order that should the tenant fail to pay future rents due under the rental agreement into the court escrow account, the court shall, upon the request of the landlord, enter judgment for the landlord and enter an order of possession of the premises.

D. Upon motion of the landlord, the court may disburse the moneys held in the court escrow account to the landlord for payment of his mortgage or other expenses relating to the dwelling unit.

E. Except as provided in subsection D, no rent required to be escrowed under this section shall be disbursed within 10 days of the date of the judgment unless otherwise agreed to by the parties. If an appeal is taken by the plaintiff, the rent held in escrow shall be transmitted to the clerk of the circuit court to be held in such court escrow account pending the outcome of the appeal.

1999, cc. 382, 506, § 55-248.25:1; 2009, c. 137; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1243. (Effective October 1, 2019) Tenant's remedies for landlord's unlawful ouster, exclusion, or diminution of service.

If a landlord unlawfully removes or excludes a tenant from the premises or willfully diminishes services to the tenant by interrupting or causing the interruption of an essential service to the tenant, the tenant may obtain an order from a general district court to recover possession, require the landlord to resume any such interrupted essential service, or terminate the rental agreement and, in any case, recover the actual damages sustained by him and reasonable attorney fees. If the rental agreement is terminated, the landlord shall return all of the security deposit in accordance with § 55.1-1226.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.26; 2000, c. 760; 2013, c. 110; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1244. (Effective October 1, 2019) Tenant's assertion; rent escrow.

A. The tenant may assert that there exists upon the leased premises a condition that constitutes a material noncompliance by the landlord with the rental agreement or with provisions of law or that, if not promptly corrected, will constitute a fire hazard or serious threat to the life, health, or safety of occupants of the premises, including (i) a lack of heat or hot or cold running water, except where the tenant is responsible for payment of the utility charge and where the lack of such heat or hot or cold running water is the direct result of the tenant's failure to pay the utility charge; (ii) a lack of light, electricity, or adequate sewage disposal facilities; (iii) an infestation of rodents; or (iv) the existence of paint containing lead pigment on surfaces within the dwelling, provided that the landlord has notice of such paint. The tenant may file such an assertion in a general district court in which the premises is located by a declaration setting forth such assertion and asking for one or more forms of relief as provided for in subsection D.

B. Prior to the granting of any relief, the tenant shall show to the satisfaction of the court that:

1. Prior to the commencement of the action, the landlord or his agent refused or, having a reasonable opportunity to do so, failed to remedy the condition for which he was served a written notice of the condition by the tenant or was notified of such condition by a violation or condemnation notice from an appropriate state or local agency. For the purposes of this subsection, what period of time shall be deemed to be unreasonable delay is left to the discretion of the court, except that there shall be a rebuttable presumption that a period in excess of 30 days from receipt of the notification by the landlord is unreasonable; and

2. The tenant has paid into court the amount of rent called for under the rental agreement, within five days of the date due under the rental agreement, unless or until such amount is modified by subsequent order of the court under this chapter.

C. It shall be sufficient answer or rejoinder to an assertion made pursuant to subsection A if the landlord establishes to the satisfaction of the court that (i) the conditions alleged by the tenant do not in fact exist; (ii) such conditions have been removed or remedied; (iii) such conditions have been caused by the tenant, his guest or invitee, members of the family of such tenant, or a guest or invitee of such family member; or (iv) the tenant has unreasonably refused entry to the landlord to the premises for the purpose of correcting such conditions.

D. Any court shall make findings of fact on the issues before it and shall issue any order that may be required. Such an order may include any one or more of the following:

1. Terminating the rental agreement upon the request of the tenant or ordering the surrender of the premises to the landlord if the landlord prevails on a request for possession pursuant to an unlawful detainer properly filed with the court;

2. Ordering all moneys already accumulated in escrow disbursed to the landlord or to the tenant in accordance with this chapter;

3. Ordering that the escrow be continued until the conditions causing the complaint are remedied;

4. Ordering that the amount of rent, whether paid into the escrow account or paid to the landlord, be abated as determined by the court in such an amount as may be equitable to represent the existence of any condition found by the court to exist. In all cases where the court deems that the tenant is entitled to relief under this chapter, the burden shall be upon the landlord to show cause why there should not be an abatement of rent;

5. Ordering any amount of moneys accumulated in escrow disbursed to the tenant where the landlord refuses to make repairs after a reasonable time or to the landlord or to a contractor chosen by the landlord in order to make repairs or to otherwise remedy the condition. In either case, the court shall in its order insure that moneys thus disbursed will be in fact used for the purpose of making repairs or effecting a remedy;

6. Referring any matter before the court to the proper state or local agency for investigation and report and granting a continuance of the action or complaint pending receipt of such investigation and report. When such a continuance is granted, the tenant shall deposit with the court, within five days of date due under the rental agreement, subject to any abatement under this section, rents that become due during the period of the continuance, to be held by the court pending its further order;

7. Ordering escrow funds disbursed to pay a mortgage on the property in order to stay a foreclosure; or

8. Ordering escrow funds disbursed to pay a creditor to prevent or satisfy a bill to enforce a mechanic's or materialman's lien.

E. Notwithstanding any provision of subsection D, where an escrow account is established by the court and the condition is not fully remedied within six months of the establishment of such account, and the landlord has not made reasonable attempts to remedy the condition, the court shall award all moneys accumulated in escrow to the tenant. In such event, the escrow shall not be terminated, but shall begin upon a new six-month period with the same result if, at the end of the period, the condition has not been remedied.

F. The initial hearing on the tenant's assertion filed pursuant to subsection A shall be held within 15 calendar days from the date of service of process on the landlord as authorized by § 55.1-1216, except that the court shall order an earlier hearing where emergency conditions are alleged to exist upon the premises, such as failure of heat in winter, lack of adequate sewage disposal facilities, or any other condition that constitutes an immediate threat to the health or safety of the inhabitants of the leased premises. The court, on motion of either party or on its own motion, may hold hearings subsequent to the initial proceeding in order to further determine the rights and obligations of the parties. Distribution of escrow moneys may only occur by order of the court after a hearing of which both parties are given notice as required by law or upon motion of both the landlord and tenant or upon certification by the appropriate inspector that the work required by the court to be done has been satisfactorily completed. If the tenant proceeds under this subsection, he may not proceed under any other section of this article as to that breach.

G. In cases where the court deems that the tenant is entitled to relief under this section and enters judgment for the tenant, the court, in its discretion, may impose upon the landlord the reasonable costs of the tenant, including court costs, and reasonable attorney fees.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.27; 2000, c. 760; 2001, c. 524; 2016, cc. 384, 459; 2017, c. 730; 2019, cc. 324, 712.

Article 5. Landlord Remedies

§ 55.1-1245. (Effective October 1, 2019) Noncompliance with rental agreement; monetary penalty.

A. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, if there is a material noncompliance by the tenant with the rental agreement or a violation of § 55.1-1227 materially affecting health and safety, the landlord may serve a written notice on the tenant specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach and stating that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than 30 days after receipt of the notice if the breach is not remedied in 21 days and that the rental agreement shall terminate as provided in the notice.

B. If the breach is remediable by repairs or the payment of damages or otherwise and the tenant adequately remedies the breach prior to the date specified in the notice, the rental agreement shall not terminate.

C. If the tenant commits a breach that is not remediable, the landlord may serve a written notice on the tenant specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach and stating that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than 30 days after receipt of the notice. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, when a breach of the tenant's obligations under this chapter or the rental agreement involves or constitutes a criminal or a willful act that is not remediable and that poses a threat to health or safety, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement immediately and proceed to obtain possession of the premises. For purposes of this subsection, any illegal drug activity involving a controlled substance, as used or defined by the Drug Control Act (§ 54.1-3400 et seq.), or any activity that involves or constitutes a criminal or willful act that also poses a threat to health and safety, by the tenant, an authorized occupant, or a guest or invitee of the tenant shall constitute an immediate nonremediable violation for which the landlord may proceed to terminate the tenancy without the necessity of waiting for a conviction of any criminal offense that may arise out of the same actions. In order to obtain an order of possession from a court of competent jurisdiction terminating the tenancy for illegal drug activity or for any other activity that involves or constitutes a criminal or willful act that also poses a threat to health and safety, the landlord shall prove any such violations by a preponderance of the evidence. However, where the illegal drug activity or any activity that involves or constitutes a criminal or willful act that also poses a threat to health and safety is engaged in by an authorized occupant or a guest or invitee of the tenant, the tenant shall be presumed to have knowledge of such activities unless the presumption is rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence. The initial hearing on the landlord's action for immediate possession of the premises shall be held within 15 calendar days from the date of service on the tenant; however, the court shall order an earlier hearing when emergency conditions are alleged to exist upon the premises that constitute an immediate threat to the health or safety of the other tenants. After the initial hearing, if the matter is scheduled for a subsequent hearing or for a contested trial, the court, to the extent practicable, shall order that the matter be given priority on the court's docket. Such subsequent hearing or contested trial shall be heard no later than 30 calendar days from the date of service on the tenant. During the interim period between the date of the initial hearing and the date of any subsequent hearing or contested trial, the court may afford any further remedy or relief as is necessary to protect the interests of parties to the proceeding or the interests of any other tenant residing on the premises. Failure by the court to hold either of the hearings within the time limits set out in this section shall not be a basis for dismissal of the case.

D. If the tenant is a victim of family abuse as defined in § 16.1-228 that occurred in the dwelling unit or on the premises and the perpetrator is barred from the dwelling unit pursuant to § 55.1-1246 on the basis of information provided by the tenant to the landlord, or by a protective order from a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to § 16.1-253.1 or 16.1-279.1 or subsection B of § 20-103, the lease shall not terminate solely due to an act of family abuse against the tenant. However, these provisions shall not be applicable if (i) the tenant fails to provide written documentation corroborating the tenant's status as a victim of family abuse and the exclusion from the dwelling unit of the perpetrator no later than 21 days from the alleged offense or (ii) the perpetrator returns to the dwelling unit or the premises, in violation of a bar notice, and the tenant fails to promptly notify the landlord within 24 hours that the perpetrator has returned to the dwelling unit or the premises, unless the tenant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the tenant had no actual knowledge that the perpetrator violated the bar notice, or it was not possible for the tenant to notify the landlord within 24 hours, in which case the tenant shall promptly notify the landlord, but in no event later than seven days. If the provisions of this subsection are not applicable, the tenant shall remain responsible for the acts of the other co-tenants, authorized occupants, or guests or invitees pursuant to § 55.1-1227 and is subject to termination of the tenancy pursuant to the lease and this chapter.

E. If the tenant has been served with a prior written notice that required the tenant to remedy a breach, and the tenant remedied such breach, where the tenant intentionally commits a subsequent breach of a like nature as the prior breach, the landlord may serve a written notice on the tenant specifying the acts and omissions constituting the subsequent breach, make reference to the prior breach of a like nature, and state that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than 30 days after receipt of the notice.

F. If rent is unpaid when due, and the tenant fails to pay rent within five days after written notice is served on him notifying the tenant of his nonpayment, and of the landlord's intention to terminate the rental agreement if the rent is not paid within the five-day period, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement and proceed to obtain possession of the premises as provided in § 55.1-1251. If a check for rent is delivered to the landlord drawn on an account with insufficient funds, or if an electronic funds transfer has been rejected because of insufficient funds or a stop-payment order has been placed in bad faith by the authorizing party, and the tenant fails to pay rent within five days after written notice is served on him notifying the tenant of his nonpayment and of the landlord's intention to terminate the rental agreement if the rent is not paid by cash, cashier's check, certified check, or a completed electronic funds transfer within the five-day period, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement and proceed to obtain possession of the premises as provided in § 55.1-1251. Nothing shall be construed to prevent a landlord from seeking an award of costs or attorney fees under § 8.01-27.1 or civil recovery under § 8.01-27.2, as a part of other damages requested on the unlawful detainer filed pursuant to § 8.01-126, provided that the landlord has given notice in accordance with § 55.1-1202, which notice may be included in the five-day termination notice provided in accordance with this section.

G. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the landlord may recover damages and obtain injunctive relief for any noncompliance by the tenant with the rental agreement or § 55.1-1227. In the event of a breach of the rental agreement or noncompliance by the tenant, the landlord shall be entitled to recover from the tenant the following, regardless of whether a lawsuit is filed or an order is obtained from a court: (i) rent due and owing as contracted for in the rental agreement, (ii) other charges and fees as contracted for in the rental agreement, (iii) late charges contracted for in the rental agreement, (iv) reasonable attorney fees as contracted for in the rental agreement or as provided by law, (v) costs of the proceeding as contracted for in the rental agreement or as provided by law only if court action has been filed, and (vi) damages to the dwelling unit or premises as contracted for in the rental agreement.

H. In a case where a lawsuit is pending before the court upon a breach of the rental agreement or noncompliance by the tenant and the landlord prevails, the court shall award a money judgment to the landlord and against the tenant for the relief requested, which may include the following: (i) rent due and owing as of the court date as contracted for in the rental agreement; (ii) other charges and fees as contracted for in the rental agreement; (iii) late charges contracted for in the rental agreement; (iv) reasonable attorney fees as contracted for in the rental agreement or as provided by law, unless in any such action the tenant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the tenant's failure to pay rent or vacate was reasonable; (v) costs of the proceeding as contracted for in the rental agreement or as provided by law; and (vi) damages to the dwelling unit or premises.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.31; 1978, c. 378; 1980, c. 502; 1982, c. 260; 1984, c. 78; 1987, c. 387; 1988, c. 62; 1989, c. 301; 1995, c. 580; 2000, c. 760; 2003, c. 363; 2004, c. 232; 2005, cc. 808, 883; 2006, cc. 628, 717; 2007, c. 273; 2008, c. 489; 2013, c. 563; 2014, c. 813; 2017, c. 730; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1246. (Effective October 1, 2019) Barring guest or invitee of a tenant.

A. A guest or invitee of a tenant may be barred from the premises by the landlord upon written notice served personally upon the guest or invitee of the tenant for conduct on the landlord's property where the premises are located that violates the terms and conditions of the rental agreement, a local ordinance, or a state or federal law. A copy of the notice shall be served upon the tenant in accordance with this chapter. The notice shall describe the conduct of the guest or invitee that is the basis for the landlord's action.

B. In addition to the remedies against the tenant authorized by this chapter, a landlord may apply to the magistrate for a warrant for trespass, provided that the guest or invitee has been served in accordance with subsection A.

C. The tenant may file a tenant's assertion, in accordance with § 55.1-1244, requesting that the general district court review the landlord's action to bar the guest or invitee.

1999, cc. 359, 390, § 55-248.31:01; 2000, c. 760; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1247. (Effective October 1, 2019) Sheriffs authorized to serve certain notices; fee for service.

The sheriff of any county or city, upon request, may deliver any notice to a tenant on behalf of a landlord or lessor under the provisions of § 55.1-1245 or 55.1-1415. For this service, the sheriff shall be allowed a fee not to exceed $12.

1981, c. 148, § 55-248.31:1; 1995, c. 51; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1248. (Effective October 1, 2019) Remedy by repair, etc.; emergencies.

If there is a violation by the tenant of § 55.1-1227 or the rental agreement materially affecting health and safety that can be remedied by repair, replacement of a damaged item, or cleaning, the landlord shall send a written notice to the tenant specifying the breach and stating that the landlord will enter the dwelling unit and perform the work in a workmanlike manner and submit an itemized bill for the actual and reasonable cost for such work to the tenant, which shall be due as rent on the next rent due date or, if the rental agreement has terminated, for immediate payment.

In case of emergency the landlord may, as promptly as conditions require, enter the dwelling unit, perform the work in a workmanlike manner, and submit an itemized bill for the actual and reasonable cost for such work to the tenant, which shall be due as rent on the next rent due date or, if the rental agreement has terminated, for immediate payment.

The landlord may perform the repair, replacement, or cleaning or may engage a third party to do so.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.32; 2000, c. 760; 2009, c. 663; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1249. (Effective October 1, 2019) Remedies for absence, nonuse, and abandonment.

If the rental agreement requires the tenant to give notice to the landlord of an anticipated extended absence in excess of seven days and the tenant fails to do so, the landlord may recover actual damages from the tenant. During any absence of the tenant in excess of seven days, the landlord may enter the dwelling unit at times reasonably necessary to protect his possessions and property. The rental agreement is deemed to be terminated by the landlord as of the date of abandonment by the tenant. If the landlord cannot determine whether the premises has been abandoned by the tenant, the landlord shall serve written notice on the tenant in accordance with § 55.1-1202 requiring the tenant to give written notice to the landlord within seven days that the tenant intends to remain in occupancy of the premises. If the tenant gives such written notice to the landlord, or if the landlord otherwise determines that the tenant remains in occupancy of the premises, the landlord shall not treat the premises as having been abandoned. Unless the landlord receives written notice from the tenant or otherwise determines that the tenant remains in occupancy of the premises, upon the expiration of seven days from the date of the landlord's notice to the tenant, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the premises has been abandoned by the tenant, and the rental agreement shall be deemed to terminate on that date. The landlord shall mitigate damages in accordance with § 55.1-1251.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.33; 2002, c. 761; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1250. (Effective October 1, 2019) Landlord's acceptance of rent with reservation.

A. The landlord may accept full or partial payment of all rent and receive an order of possession from a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to an unlawful detainer action filed under Article 13 (§ 8.01-124 et seq.) of Chapter 3 of Title 8.01 and proceed with eviction under § 55.1-1255, provided that the landlord has stated in a written notice to the tenant that any and all amounts owed to the landlord by the tenant, including payment of any rent, damages, money judgment, award of attorney fees, and court costs, would be accepted with reservation and would not constitute a waiver of the landlord's right to evict the tenant from the dwelling unit. Such notice may be included in a written termination notice given by the landlord to the tenant in accordance with § 55.1-1245, and if so included, nothing herein shall be construed by a court of law or otherwise as requiring such landlord to give the tenant subsequent written notice. If the dwelling unit is a public housing unit or other housing unit subject to regulation by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, nothing in this section shall be construed to require that written notice be given to any public agency paying a portion of the rent under the rental agreement. If a landlord enters into a new written rental agreement with the tenant prior to eviction, an order of possession obtained prior to the entry of such new rental agreement is not enforceable.

B. The tenant may pay or present to the court a redemption tender for payment of all rent due and owing as of the return date, including late charges, attorney fees, and court costs, at or before the first return date on an action for unlawful detainer. For purposes of this section, "redemption tender" means a written commitment to pay all rent due and owing as of the return date, including late charges, attorney fees, and court costs, by a local government or nonprofit entity within 10 days of such return date.

C. If the tenant presents a redemption tender to the court at the return date, the court shall continue the action for unlawful detainer for 10 days following the return date for payment to the landlord of all rent due and owing as of the return date, including late charges, attorney fees, and court costs, and dismiss the action upon such payment. Should the landlord not receive full payment of all rent due and owing as of the return date, including late charges, attorney fees, and court costs, within 10 days of the return date, the court shall, without further evidence, grant to the landlord judgment for all amounts due and immediate possession of the premises.

D. In cases of unlawful detainer, a tenant may pay the landlord or the landlord's attorney or pay into court all (i) rent due and owing as of the court date as contracted for in the rental agreement, (ii) other charges and fees as contracted for in the rental agreement, (iii) late charges contracted for in the rental agreement, (iv) reasonable attorney fees as contracted for in the rental agreement or as provided by law, and (v) costs of the proceeding as provided by law, at which time the unlawful detainer proceeding shall be dismissed. If such payment has not been made as of the return date for the unlawful detainer, the tenant may pay to the landlord, the landlord's attorney, or the court all amounts claimed on the summons in unlawful detainer, including current rent, damages, late fees, costs of court, any civil recovery, attorney fees, and sheriff fees, no less than two business days before the date scheduled by the officer to whom the writ of eviction has been delivered to be executed. Any payments made by the tenant shall be by cashier's check, certified check, or money order. A tenant may invoke the rights granted in this section no more than one time during any 12-month period of continuous residency in the dwelling unit, regardless of the term of the rental agreement or any renewal term of the rental agreement.

2003, c. 427, § 55-248.34:1; 2006, c. 667; 2008, c. 489; 2010, c. 793; 2012, c. 788; 2013, c. 563; 2014, c. 813; 2018, cc. 220, 233; 2019, cc. 28, 43, 712.

§ 55.1-1251. (Effective October 1, 2019) Remedy after termination.

If the rental agreement is terminated, the landlord may have a claim for possession and for rent and a separate claim for actual damages for breach of the rental agreement, reasonable attorney fees as provided in § 55.1-1245, and the cost of service of any notice under § 55.1-1245 or 55.1-1415 or process by a sheriff or private process server, which cost shall not exceed the amount authorized by § 55.1-1247, and such claims may be enforced, without limitation, by initiating an action for unlawful entry or detainer. Actual damages for breach of the rental agreement may include a claim for rent that would have accrued until the expiration of the term of the rental agreement or until a tenancy pursuant to a new rental agreement commences, whichever occurs first, provided that nothing contained in this section shall diminish the duty of the landlord to mitigate actual damages for breach of the rental agreement. In obtaining post-possession judgments for actual damages as defined in this section, the landlord shall not seek a judgment for accelerated rent through the end of the term of the tenancy.

In any unlawful detainer action brought by the landlord, this section shall not be construed to prevent the landlord from being granted by the court a simultaneous judgment for money due and for possession of the premises without a credit for any security deposit. Upon the tenant vacating the premises either voluntarily or by a writ of eviction, security deposits shall be credited to the tenant's account by the landlord in accordance with the requirements of § 55.1-1226.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.35; 1981, c. 539; 1988, c. 68; 1989, c. 383; 1996, c. 326; 2000, c. 760; 2001, c. 524; 2019, cc. 180, 700, 712.

§ 55.1-1252. (Effective October 1, 2019) Recovery of possession limited.

A landlord may not recover or take possession of the dwelling unit (i) by willful diminution of services to the tenant by interrupting or causing the interruption of an essential service required by the rental agreement or (ii) by refusal to permit the tenant access to the unit unless such refusal is pursuant to a court order for possession.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.36; 1978, c. 520; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1253. (Effective October 1, 2019) Periodic tenancy; holdover remedies.

A. The landlord or the tenant may terminate a week-to-week tenancy by serving a written notice on the other at least seven days prior to the next rent due date. The landlord or the tenant may terminate a month-to-month tenancy by serving a written notice on the other at least 30 days prior to the next rent due date, unless the rental agreement provides for a different notice period. The landlord and the tenant may agree in writing to an early termination of a rental agreement. In the event that no such agreement is reached, the provisions of § 55.1-1251 shall control.

B. If the tenant remains in possession without the landlord's consent after expiration of the term of the rental agreement or its termination, the landlord may bring an action for possession and may also recover actual damages, reasonable attorney fees, and court costs, unless the tenant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the failure of the tenant to vacate the dwelling unit as of the termination date was reasonable. The landlord may include in the rental agreement a reasonable liquidated damage penalty, not to exceed an amount equal to 150 percent of the per diem of the monthly rent, for each day the tenant remains in the dwelling unit after the termination date specified in the landlord's notice. However, if the dwelling unit is a public housing unit or other housing unit subject to regulation by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, any liquidated damage penalty shall not exceed an amount equal to the per diem of the monthly rent set out in the lease agreement. If the landlord consents to the tenant's continued occupancy, § 55.1-1204 applies.

C. In the event of termination of a rental agreement where the tenant remains in possession with the agreement of the landlord either as a hold-over tenant or a month-to-month tenant and no new rental agreement is entered into, the terms of the terminated agreement shall remain in effect and govern the hold-over or month-to-month tenancy, except that the amount of rent shall be either as provided in the terminated rental agreement or the amount set forth in a written notice to the tenant, provided that such new rent amount shall not take effect until the next rent due date coming 30 days after the notice.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.37; 1977, c. 427; 1982, c. 260; 2004, c. 123; 2005, c. 805; 2009, c. 663; 2013, c. 563; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1254. (Effective October 1, 2019) Disposal of property abandoned by tenants.

If any items of personal property are left in the dwelling unit, the premises, or any storage area provided by the landlord after the rental agreement has terminated and delivery of possession has occurred, the landlord may consider such property to be abandoned. The landlord may dispose of the property so abandoned as the landlord sees fit or appropriate, provided that he has given (i) a termination notice to the tenant in accordance with this chapter, including a statement that any items of personal property left in the dwelling unit or the premises would be disposed of within the 24-hour period after termination; (ii) written notice to the tenant in accordance with § 55.1-1249, including a statement that any items of personal property left in the dwelling unit, the premises, or the storage area would be disposed of within the 24-hour period after expiration of the seven-day notice period; or (iii) a separate written notice to the tenant, including a statement that any items of personal property left in the dwelling unit, the premises, or the storage area would be disposed of within 24 hours after expiration of a 10-day period from the date such notice was given to the tenant. Any written notice to the tenant shall be given in accordance with § 55.1-1202. The tenant shall have the right to remove his personal property from the dwelling unit, the premises, or the storage area at reasonable times during the 24-hour period after termination or at such other reasonable times until the landlord has disposed of the remaining personal property of the tenant.

During the 24-hour period and until the landlord disposes of the remaining personal property of the tenant, the landlord shall not have any liability for the risk of loss for such personal property. If the landlord fails to allow reasonable access to the tenant to remove his personal property as provided in this section, the tenant shall have a right to injunctive or other relief as provided by law. If the landlord received any funds from any sale of abandoned property as provided in this section, the landlord shall pay such funds to the account of the tenant and apply the funds to any amounts due the landlord by the tenant, including the reasonable costs incurred by the landlord in selling, storing, or safekeeping such property. If any such funds are remaining after application, the remaining funds shall be treated as a security deposit under the provisions of § 55.1-1226. The provisions of this section shall not be applicable if the landlord has been granted an order of possession for the premises in accordance with Title 8.01 and execution of a writ of eviction has been completed pursuant to § 8.01-470.

Nothing in this section shall affect the right of a landlord to enforce an inchoate or perfected lien of the landlord on the personal property of a tenant in a dwelling unit or on the premises leased to such tenant and the right of a landlord to distress, levy, and seize such personal property as otherwise provided by law.

1984, c. 741, § 55-248.38:1; 1995, c. 228; 1998, c. 461; 2000, c. 760; 2002, c. 762; 2013, c. 563; 2017, c. 730; 2019, cc. 180, 700, 712.

§ 55.1-1255. (Effective October 1, 2019) Authority of sheriffs to store and sell personal property removed from residential premises; recovery of possession by owner; disposition or sale.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 8.01-156, when personal property is removed from a dwelling unit, the premises, or any storage area provided by the landlord pursuant to an action of unlawful detainer or ejectment, or pursuant to any other action in which personal property is removed from the dwelling unit in order to restore the dwelling unit to the person entitled to such dwelling unit, the sheriff shall oversee the removal of such personal property to be placed into the public way. The tenant shall have the right to remove his personal property from the public way during the 24-hour period after eviction. Upon the expiration of the 24-hour period after eviction, the landlord shall remove, or dispose of, any such personal property remaining in the public way.

At the landlord's request, any personal property removed pursuant to this section shall be placed into a storage area designated by the landlord, which may be the dwelling unit. The tenant shall have the right to remove his personal property from the landlord's designated storage area at reasonable times during the 24 hours after eviction or at such other reasonable times until the landlord has disposed of the property as provided in this section. During that 24-hour period and until the landlord disposes of the remaining personal property of the tenant, the landlord and the sheriff shall not have any liability for the risk of loss for such personal property. If the landlord fails to allow reasonable access to the tenant to remove his personal property as provided in this section, the tenant shall have a right to injunctive or other relief as otherwise provided by law.

Any property remaining in the landlord's storage area upon the expiration of the 24-hour period after eviction may be disposed of by the landlord as the landlord sees fit or appropriate. If the landlord receives any funds from any sale of such remaining property, the landlord shall pay such funds to the account of the tenant and apply the funds to any amounts due the landlord by the tenant, including the reasonable costs incurred by the landlord in the eviction process described in this section or the reasonable costs incurred by the landlord in selling or storing such property. If any funds are remaining after application, the remaining funds shall be treated as a security deposit under the provisions of § 55.1-1226.

The notice posted by the sheriff with the writ of eviction setting the date and time of the eviction, pursuant to § 8.01-470, shall provide notice to the tenant of the rights afforded to tenants in this section and shall include a copy of this statute attached to, or made a part of, the notice.

2001, c. 222, § 55-248.38:2; 2006, c. 129; 2013, c. 563; 2019, cc. 180, 700, 712.

§ 55.1-1256. (Effective October 1, 2019) Disposal of property of deceased tenants.

A. If a tenant who is the sole tenant under a written rental agreement still residing in the dwelling unit dies, and there is no person authorized by order of the circuit court to handle probate matters for the deceased tenant, the landlord may dispose of the personal property left in the dwelling unit or upon the premises. However, the landlord shall give at least 10 days' written notice to (i) the person identified in the rental application, lease agreement, or other landlord document as the authorized person to contact in the event of the death or emergency of the tenant or (ii) the tenant in accordance with § 55.1-1202 if no such person is identified in the rental application, lease agreement, or other landlord document as the authorized contact person. The notice given under clause (i) or (ii) shall include a statement that any items of personal property left in the premises would be treated as abandoned property and disposed of in accordance with the provisions of § 55.1-1254, if not claimed within 10 days. Authorized occupants, or guests or invitees, are not allowed to occupy the dwelling unit after the death of the sole remaining tenant and shall vacate the dwelling unit prior to the end of the 10-day period.

B. The landlord may request that such authorized contact person provide reasonable proof of identification. Thereafter, the authorized contact person identified in the rental application, lease agreement, or other landlord document may (i) have access to the dwelling unit or the premises and to the tenant records maintained by the landlord and (ii) rightfully claim the personal property of the deceased tenant and otherwise handle the affairs of the deceased tenant with the landlord.

C. The rental agreement is deemed to be terminated by the landlord as of the date of death of the tenant who is the sole tenant under a written rental agreement still residing in the dwelling unit, and the landlord shall not be required to seek an order of possession from a court of competent jurisdiction. The estate of the tenant shall remain liable for actual damages under § 55.1-1251, and the landlord shall mitigate such damages.

2006, c. 820, § 55-248.38:3; 2010, c. 550; 2011, c. 766; 2014, c. 813; 2017, c. 730; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1257. (Effective October 1, 2019) Who may recover rent or possession.

Notwithstanding any rule of court to the contrary, (i) any person licensed under the provisions of § 54.1-2106.1, (ii) any property manager or the managing agent of a landlord as defined in § 55.1-1200 pursuant to the written property management agreement, or (iii) any employee, who is authorized in writing by a corporate officer with the approval of the board of directors, or by a manager, a general partner, or a trustee, of a partnership, association, corporation, limited liability company, limited partnership, professional corporation, professional limited liability company, registered limited liability partnership, registered limited liability limited partnership, business trust, or family trust to sign pleadings as the agent of the business entity may obtain a judgment (a) for possession in the general district court for the county or city in which the premises, or part thereof, is situated or (b) for rent or damages, including actual damages for breach of the rental agreement, or for final rent and damages under § 8.01-128, in any general district court where venue is proper under Chapter 5 (§ 8.01-257 et seq.) of Title 8.01, against any defendant if the person seeking such judgment had a contractual agreement with the landlord to manage the premises for which rent or possession is due and may prepare, execute, file, and have served on other parties in any general district court a warrant in debt, suggestion for summons in garnishment, garnishment summons, order of possession, writ of eviction, or writ of fieri facias arising out of a landlord-tenant relationship. However, the activities of any such person in court shall be limited by the provisions of § 16.1-88.03. However, nothing shall be construed as preventing a nonlawyer from requesting relief from the court as provided by law or statute when such nonlawyer is before the court on one of the actions specified herein.

1983, c. 8, § 55-246.1; 1989, c. 612; 1998, c. 452; 2003, cc. 665, 667; 2004, cc. 338, 365; 2010, c. 550; 2013, c. 563; 2015, c. 190; 2018, c. 221; 2019, cc. 180, 477, 700, 712.

Article 6. Retaliatory Action

§ 55.1-1258. (Effective October 1, 2019) Retaliatory conduct prohibited.

A. Except as provided in this section or as otherwise provided by law, a landlord may not retaliate by increasing rent or decreasing services or by bringing or threatening to bring an action for possession or by causing a termination of the rental agreement pursuant to § 55.1-1253 or 55.1-1410 after he has knowledge that (i) the tenant has complained to a governmental agency charged with responsibility for enforcement of a building or housing code of a violation applicable to the premises materially affecting health or safety, (ii) the tenant has made a complaint to or filed an action against the landlord for a violation of any provision of this chapter, (iii) the tenant has organized or become a member of a tenant's organization, or (iv) the tenant has testified in a court proceeding against the landlord. However, the provisions of this subsection shall not be construed to prevent the landlord from increasing rent to that which is charged for similar market rentals nor decreasing services that apply equally to all tenants.

B. If the landlord acts in violation of this section, the tenant is entitled to the applicable remedies provided for in this chapter, including recovery of actual damages, and may assert such retaliation as a defense in any action against him for possession. The burden of proving retaliatory intent shall be on the tenant.

C. Notwithstanding subsections A and B, a landlord may terminate the rental agreement pursuant to § 55.1-1253 or 55.1-1410 and bring an action for possession if:

1. Violation of the applicable building or housing code was caused primarily by lack of reasonable care by the tenant, an authorized occupant, or a guest or invitee of the tenant;

2. The tenant is in default in rent;

3. Compliance with the applicable building or housing code requires alteration, remodeling, or demolition that would effectively deprive the tenant of use of the dwelling unit; or

4. The tenant is in default of a provision of the rental agreement materially affecting the health and safety of himself or others. The maintenance of the action provided in this section does not release the landlord from liability under § 55.1-1226.

D. The landlord may also terminate the rental agreement pursuant to § 55.1-1253 or 55.1-1410 for any other reason not prohibited by law unless the court finds that the reason for the termination was retaliation.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.39; 1983, c. 396; 1985, c. 268; 2000, c. 760; 2015, c. 408; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1259. (Effective October 1, 2019) Actions to enforce chapter.

In addition to any other remedies in this chapter, any person adversely affected by an act or omission prohibited under this chapter may institute an action for injunction and damages against the person responsible for such act or omission in the circuit court in the county or city in which such act or omission occurred. If the court finds that the defendant was responsible for such act or omission, it shall enjoin the defendant from continuance of such practice, and in its discretion award the plaintiff damages as provided in this section.

1974, c. 680, § 55-248.40; 2013, c. 110; 2019, c. 712.

Article 7. Eviction Diversion Pilot Program

§ 55.1-1260. (Effective July 1, 2020; Expires July 1, 2023) Establishment of Eviction Diversion Pilot Program; purpose; goals.

A. There is hereby established the Eviction Diversion Pilot Program (the Program) within the existing structure of the general district courts for the cities of Danville, Hampton, Petersburg, and Richmond. The purpose of the Program shall be to reduce the number of evictions of low-income persons. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no eviction diversion court or program shall be established except in conformance with this section.

B. The goals of the Program shall include (i) reducing the number of evictions of low-income persons from their residential dwelling units for the failure to pay small amounts of money under the rental agreement, in particular when such persons have experienced an event that adversely affected financial circumstances such as the loss of employment or a medical crisis in their immediate family; (ii) reducing displacement of families from their homes and the resulting adverse consequences to children who are no longer able to remain in the same public school after eviction; (iii) encouraging understanding of eviction-related processes and facilitating the landlord's and tenant's entering into a reasonable payment plan that provides for the landlord to receive full rental payments as contracted for in the rental agreement and for the tenant to have the opportunity to make current such rental payments; and (iv) encouraging tenants to make rental payments in the manner as provided in the rental agreement.

2019, cc. 355, 356, § 55-248.40:1.

§ 55.1-1261. (Effective July 1, 2020; Expires July 1, 2023) Eviction Diversion Pilot Program; administration.

Administrative oversight of the implementation of the Program and training for judges who preside over general district courts participating in the Program shall be conducted by the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia (Executive Secretary).

2019, cc. 355, 356, § 55-248.40:2.

§ 55.1-1262. (Effective July 1, 2020; Expires July 1, 2023) Eviction Diversion Pilot Program; process; court-ordered payment plan.

A. A tenant in an unlawful detainer case shall be eligible to participate in the Program if he:

1. Appears in court on the first docket call of the case and requests to have the case referred into the Program;

2. Pays to the landlord or into the court at least 25 percent of the amount due on the unlawful detainer as amended on the first docket call of the case;

3. Provides sworn testimony that he is employed and has sufficient funds to make the payments under the court payment plan, or otherwise has sufficient funds to make such payments;

4. Provides sworn testimony explaining the reasons for being unable to make rental payments as contracted for in the rental agreement;

5. Has not been late within the last 12 months in payment of rent as contracted for in the rental agreement at the rate of either (i) more than two times in six months or (ii) more than three times in 12 months;

6. Has not exercised the right of redemption pursuant to § 55.1-1250 within the last six months; and

7. Has not participated in an eviction diversion program within the last 12 months.

B. The court shall direct an eligible tenant pursuant to subsection A and his landlord to participate in the Program and to enter into a court-ordered payment plan. The court shall provide for a continuance of the case on the docket of the general district court in which the unlawful detainer action is filed to allow for full payment under the plan. The court-ordered payment plan shall be based on a payment agreement entered into by the landlord and tenant, on a form provided by the Executive Secretary, and shall contain the following provisions:

1. All payments shall be (i) made to the landlord; (ii) paid by cashier's check, certified check, or money order; and (iii) received by the landlord on or before the fifth day of each month included in the plan;

2. The remaining payments of the amounts on the amended unlawful detainer after the first payments made on the first docket call of the case shall be paid on the following schedule: (i) 25 percent due by the fifth day of the month following the initial court hearing date, (ii) 25 percent due by the fifth day of the second month following the initial court hearing date, and (iii) the final payment of 25 percent due by the fifth day of the third month following the initial court hearing date; and

3. All rental payments shall continue to be made by the tenant to the landlord as contracted for in the rental agreement within five days of the due date established by the rental agreement each month during the course of the court-ordered payment plan.

C. If the tenant makes all payments in accordance with the court-ordered payment plan, the judge shall dismiss the unlawful detainer as being satisfied.

D. If the tenant fails to make a payment under the court-ordered payment plan or to keep current any monthly rental payments to the landlord as contracted for in the rental agreement within five days of the due date established by the rental agreement, the landlord shall submit to the general district court clerk a written notice, on a form provided by the Executive Secretary, that the tenant has failed to make payments in accordance with the plan. A copy of such written notice shall be given to the tenant in accordance with § 55.1-1202.

The court shall enter an order of possession without further hearings or proceedings, unless the tenant files an affidavit with the court within 10 days of the date of such notice stating that the current rent has in fact been paid and that the landlord has not properly acknowledged payment of such rent. A copy of such affidavit shall be given to the landlord in accordance with § 55.1-1202.

The landlord may seek a money judgement for final rent and damages pursuant to subsection B of § 8.01-128.

E. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit (i) the landlord from filing an unlawful detainer for a non-rent violation against the tenant while such tenant is participating in the Program or (ii) the landlord and tenant from entering into a voluntary payment agreement outside the provisions of this section.

2019, cc. 355, 356, § 55-248.40:3.

Chapter 13. Manufactured Home Lot Rental Act.

§ 55.1-1300. (Effective October 1, 2019) Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Abandoned manufactured home" means a manufactured home occupying a manufactured home lot pursuant to a written agreement under which (i) the tenant has defaulted in rent or (ii) the landlord has the right to terminate the written rental agreement pursuant to § 55.1-1249.

"Guest or invitee" means a person, other than the tenant, who has the permission of the tenant to visit but not to occupy the premises.

"Landlord" means the manufactured home park owner or the lessor or sublessor of a manufactured home park. "Landlord" also means a manufactured home park operator who fails to disclose the name of such owner, lessor, or sublessor as provided in § 55.1-1216.

"Manufactured home" means a structure, transportable in one or more sections, that in the traveling mode is eight body feet or more in width or 40 body feet or more in length, or, when erected on site, is 320 or more square feet, and that is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities, and includes the plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, and electrical systems contained in the structure.

"Manufactured home lot" means a parcel of land within the boundaries of a manufactured home park provided for the placement of a single manufactured home and the exclusive use of its occupants.

"Manufactured home owner" means the owner of a manufactured home.

"Manufactured home park" means a parcel of land under single or common ownership upon which five or more manufactured homes are located on a continual, nonrecreational basis together with any structure, equipment, road, or facility intended for use incidental to the occupancy of the manufactured homes. "Manufactured home park" does not include a premises used solely for storage or display of uninhabited manufactured homes or a premises occupied solely by a landowner and members of his family.

"Manufactured home park operator" means a person employed or contracted by a manufactured home park owner or landlord to manage a manufactured home park.

"Manufactured home park owner" means a person who owns land that accommodates a manufactured home park.

"Owner" means one or more persons, jointly or severally, in whom is vested (i) all or part of the legal title to the property or (ii) all or part of the beneficial ownership and right to present use and enjoyment of the premises. "Owner" includes a mortgagee in possession.

"Reasonable charges in addition to rent" means any routine maintenance and utility charges for which the tenant is liable under the rental agreement.

"Rent" means payments made by the tenant to the landlord for use of a manufactured home lot and other facilities or services provided by the landlord.

"Rental agreement" means any agreement, written or oral, and valid rules and regulations adopted in conformance with § 55.1-1228 embodying the terms and conditions concerning the use and occupancy of a manufactured home lot and premises and other facilities or services provided by the landlord.

"Secured party" means the same as that term is defined in § 8.9A-102.

"Security interest" means the same as that term is defined in § 8.1A-201.

"Tenant" means a person entitled as under a rental agreement to occupy a manufactured home lot to the exclusion of others.

1975, c. 535, § 55-248.41; 1983, c. 386; 1991, c. 500; 1992, c. 709; 2018, c. 408; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1301. (Effective October 1, 2019) Written rental agreement required.

A. Before the tenancy begins, all parties shall sign and date a written rental agreement that includes all terms governing the rental and occupancy of a manufactured home lot. The landlord shall give the tenant a copy of the signed and dated written rental agreement and a copy of this chapter or a clear and simple description of the obligations of landlords and tenants under this chapter within seven days after the tenant signs the written rental agreement. The written rental agreement shall not contain any provisions contrary to the provisions of this chapter and shall not contain a provision prohibiting the tenant from selling his manufactured home. A notice of any change by a landlord in any terms or provisions of the written rental agreement shall constitute a notice to vacate the premises, and such notice shall be given in accordance with the terms of the written rental agreement or as otherwise required by law. The written rental agreement shall not provide that the tenant pay any recurring charges except fixed rent, utility charges, or reasonable incidental charges for services or facilities supplied by the landlord. The landlord shall post a copy of this chapter, including the full text of the sections referenced in § 55.1-1311, in the manufactured home park.

B. In the event that any party has a secured interest in the manufactured home, the written rental agreement or rental application shall include the name and address of such party and the name and address of the dealer from whom the manufactured home was purchased. In addition, the written rental agreement shall require the tenant to notify the landlord within 10 days of any new security interest, change of existing security interest, or settlement of security interest.

1975, c. 535, § 55-248.42; 1986, c. 586; 1991, c. 500; 1992, c. 709; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1302. (Effective October 1, 2019) Term of rental agreement; renewal; security deposits.

A. A landlord shall offer all current and prospective year-round residents a rental agreement with a rental period of not less than one year. Such offer shall contain the same terms and conditions as are offered with shorter term leases, except that rental discounts may be offered by a landlord to residents who enter into a rental agreement for a period of not less than one year.

B. Upon the expiration of a rental agreement, the agreement shall be automatically renewed for a term of one year with the same terms unless the landlord provides written notice to the tenant of any change in the terms of the agreement at least 60 days prior to the expiration date. In the case of an automatic renewal of a rental agreement for a year-round resident, the security deposit initially furnished by the tenant shall not be increased by the landlord, nor shall an additional security deposit be required.

C. Except as limited by subsection B, the provisions of § 55.1-1226 shall govern the terms and conditions of security deposits for rental agreements under this chapter.

1992, c. 709, § 55-248.42:1; 1999, c. 513; 2000, c. 41; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1303. (Effective October 1, 2019) Landlord's obligations.

The landlord shall:

1. Comply with applicable laws governing health, zoning, safety, and other matters pertaining to manufactured home parks;

2. Make all repairs and do whatever is necessary to put and keep the manufactured home park in a fit and habitable condition, including maintaining in a clean and safe condition all facilities and common areas provided by the landlord for use by the tenants of two or more manufactured home lots;

3. Maintain in good and working order and condition all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and other facilities and appliances supplied or required to be supplied by the landlord;

4. Provide and maintain appropriate receptacles as a manufactured home park facility, except when door-to-door garbage and waste pickup is available within the manufactured home park for the collection and storage of garbage and other waste incidental to the occupancy of the manufactured home park, and arrange for the removal of the garbage and other waste; and

5. Provide reasonable access to electric, water, and sewage disposal connections for each manufactured home lot. In the event of a planned disruption by the landlord in electric, water, or sewage disposal services, the landlord shall give written notice to tenants no less than 48 hours prior to the planned disruption in service.

1975, c. 535, § 55-248.43; 1992, c. 709; 2001, c. 44; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1304. (Effective October 1, 2019) Tenant's obligations.

In addition to the provisions of the rental agreement, the tenant shall:

1. Comply with applicable laws affecting manufactured home owners and tenants;

2. Keep and maintain the exterior of the tenant's manufactured home and manufactured home lot as clean and safe as conditions permit;

3. Place all garbage and other waste in the appropriate receptacles, which shall be provided by the tenant when door-to-door garbage and waste pickup is provided;

4. Use in a reasonable and orderly manner all facilities and appliances in the manufactured home park and require any guest or invitee to do so;

5. Conduct himself and require any guest or invitee to conduct himself in a manner that will not disturb the tenant's neighbors' peaceful enjoyment of the premises;

6. Abide by all reasonable rules and regulations imposed by the landlord; and

7. In the absence of express written agreement to the contrary, occupy the tenant's manufactured home only as a dwelling unit.

1975, c. 535, § 55-248.44; 1992, c. 709; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1305. (Effective October 1, 2019) Rent; liability of secured party taking possession of an abandoned manufactured home.

A. A secured party shall have no liability for rent or other charges to a landlord except as provided in this section.

B. In the event that a manufactured home subject to a security interest becomes an abandoned manufactured home, the landlord shall send notice of abandonment to the manufactured home owner, the secured party, and the dealer as provided for in § 55.1-1202 at the addresses shown in the written rental agreement or rental application. The notice of abandonment shall state the amount of rent and the amount and nature of any reasonable charges in addition to rent for which the secured party will be liable. The notice shall include any written rental agreement previously signed by the tenant and the landlord.

C. A secured party that has a security interest in an abandoned manufactured home, and that has a right to possession of the manufactured home under § 8.9A-609 or under the applicable security agreement, is liable to the landlord under the same payment terms as the tenant prior to the secured party's accrual of the right of possession and for any other reasonable charges in addition to rent incurred. Such liability is for the period that begins 15 days from receipt of the notice of abandonment by the secured party and ends upon the earlier to occur of the removal of the abandoned manufactured home from the manufactured home park or disposition of the abandoned manufactured home under §§ 8.9A-610 through 8.9A-624 or under the applicable security agreement.

D. This section shall not affect the availability of the landlord's lien as provided in § 55.1-1316, nor shall this section impact the priority of the secured party's lien as provided in § 46.2-640.

E. Any rent or reasonable charges in addition to rent owed by the secured party to the landlord pursuant to this section shall be paid to the landlord prior to the removal of the manufactured home from the manufactured home park.

F. If a secured party that has a secured interest in an abandoned manufactured home becomes liable to the landlord pursuant to this section, then the relationship between the secured party and the landlord shall be governed by the rental agreement previously signed by the tenant and the landlord unless otherwise agreed, except that the term of the rental agreement shall convert to a month-to-month tenancy. No waiver is required to convert the rental agreement to a month-to-month tenancy. Either the landlord or the secured party may terminate the month-to-month tenancy upon giving written notice of at least 30 days. The secured party and the landlord are not required to execute a new rental agreement. Nothing in this section shall be construed to be a waiver of any rights by the tenant.

1991, c. 500, § 55-248.44:1; 1992, c. 709; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1306. (Effective October 1, 2019) Demands and charges prohibited; access by tenant's guest or invitee; purchases by manufactured home owner not restricted; exception; conditions of occupancy.

A. A landlord shall not demand or collect:

1. An entrance fee for the privilege of leasing or occupying a manufactured home lot;

2. A commission on the sale of a manufactured home located in the manufactured home park, unless the tenant expressly employs him to perform a service in connection with such sale, but no such employment of the landlord by the tenant shall be a condition or term of the initial sale or rental;

3. A fee for improvements or installations on the interior of a manufactured home, unless the tenant expressly employs him to perform a service in connection with such improvements or installations;

4. A fee, charge, or other thing of value from any provider of cable television service, cable modem service, satellite master antenna television service, direct broadcast satellite television service, subscription television service, or service of any other television programming system in exchange for granting a television service provider mere access to the landlord's tenants or giving the tenants of such landlord mere access to such service. A landlord may enter into a service agreement with a television service provider to provide marketing and other services to the television service provider designed to facilitate the television service provider's delivery of its services. Under such a service agreement, the television service provider may compensate the landlord for the reasonable value of the services provided and for the reasonable value of the landlord's property used by the television service provider.

No landlord shall demand or accept any such payment from any tenants in exchange for such services, unless the landlord is itself the provider of the service, nor shall any landlord discriminate in rental charges between tenants who receive any such service and those who do not. Nothing in this subdivision shall prohibit a landlord from requiring that the provider of such service and the tenant bear the entire cost of the installation, operation, or removal of the facilities incident to such installation, operation, or removal or prohibit a landlord from demanding or accepting reasonable indemnity or security for any damages caused by such installation, operation, or removal; or

5. An exit fee for moving a manufactured home from a manufactured home park.

B. A guest or invitee of the tenant shall have free access to the tenant's manufactured home site without charge or registration.

C. A manufactured home owner shall not be restricted in his choice of vendors from whom he may purchase his (i) manufactured home, except in connection with the initial leasing or renting of a newly constructed lot not previously leased or rented to any other person, or (ii) goods and services. However, nothing in this chapter shall prohibit a landlord from prescribing reasonable requirements governing, as a condition of occupancy, the style, size, or quality of the manufactured home or other structures placed on the manufactured home lot.

1975, c. 535, § 55-248.45; 1987, c. 513; 1989, c. 87; 1992, c. 709; 2008, c. 329; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1307. (Effective October 1, 2019) Charge for utility service.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 56-245.3, a landlord who purchases from a publicly regulated utility any electricity, gas, or other utility service, including water and sewer services, for resale or pass-through to a tenant may not charge for the resale or pass-through of such service an amount that exceeds the amount permitted under the provisions of § 55.1-1212.

1992, c. 709, § 55-248.45:1; 2006, c. 303; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1308. (Effective October 1, 2019) Termination of tenancy.

A. Either party may terminate a rental agreement with a term of 60 days or more by giving written notice to the other at least 60 days prior to the termination date; however, the rental agreement may require a longer period of notice. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, where a landlord and seller of a manufactured home have in common (i) one or more owners, (ii) immediate family members, or (iii) officers or directors, the rental agreement shall be renewed except for reasons that would justify a termination of the rental agreement or eviction by the landlord as authorized by this chapter. A landlord may not cause the eviction of a tenant by willfully interrupting gas, electricity, water, or any other essential service, or by removal of the manufactured home from the manufactured home lot, or by any other willful self-help measure.

B. If the termination is due to rehabilitation or a change in the use of all or any part of a manufactured home park by the landlord, a 180-day written notice is required to terminate a rental agreement. As used in this subsection, "change" includes conversion to hotel, motel, or other commercial use; planned unit development; rehabilitation; demolition; or sale to a contract purchaser. This 180-day notice requirement shall not be waived; however, a period of less than 180 days may be agreed upon by both the landlord and tenant in a written agreement separate from the rental agreement executed after such notice is given and applicable only to the 180-day notice period.

1975, c. 535, § 55-248.46; 1991, c. 185; 1992, c. 709; 2001, c. 47; 2005, c. 416; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1309. (Effective October 1, 2019) Waiver of landlord's right to terminate.

Unless the landlord accepts the rent with reservation, and gives a written notice to the tenant of such acceptance within five business days of receipt of the rent, acceptance of periodic rent payments with knowledge in fact of a material noncompliance by the tenant shall constitute a waiver of the landlord's right to terminate the rental agreement. Except as provided in § 55.1-1423, if the landlord has given the tenant written notice that the rent payments have been accepted with reservation, the landlord may accept full payment of all rent payments and still be entitled to receive an order of possession terminating the rental agreement.

2001, c. 47, § 55-248.46:1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1310. (Effective October 1, 2019) Sale or lease of manufactured home by manufactured home owner.

No landlord shall unreasonably refuse or restrict the sale or rental of a manufactured home located in his manufactured home park by a tenant. No landlord shall prohibit the manufactured home owner from placing a "for sale" sign on or in the owner's home except that the size, placement, and character of all signs are subject to the rules and regulations of the manufactured home park. Prior to selling or leasing the manufactured home, the tenant shall give notice to the landlord, including the name of the prospective vendee or lessee if the prospective vendee or lessee intends to occupy the manufactured home in that manufactured home park. The landlord shall have the burden of proving that his refusal or restriction regarding the sale or rental of a manufactured home was reasonable. The refusal or restriction of the sale or rental of a manufactured home exclusively or predominantly based on the age of the home shall be considered unreasonable. Any refusal or restriction based on race, color, religion, national origin, familial status, elderliness, handicap, or sex shall be conclusively presumed to be unreasonable.

1975, c. 535, § 55-248.47; 1986, c. 586; 1992, c. 709; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1311. (Effective October 1, 2019) Other provisions of law applicable.

Sections 55.1-1202, 55.1-1207, 55.1-1208, 55.1-1216, 55.1-1224, 55.1-1226, 55.1-1228, 55.1-1234 through 55.1-1249, 55.1-1251, 55.1-1252, and 55.1-1259 shall, insofar as they are not inconsistent with this chapter, apply, mutatis mutandis, to the rental and occupancy of a manufactured home lot.

1975, c. 535, § 55-248.48; 1992, c. 709; 2000, c. 760; 2001, c. 47; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1312. (Effective October 1, 2019) Authority of local governments over manufactured home parks.

The governing body of any locality may adopt ordinances to enforce the obligations imposed on landlords by § 55.1-1303.

1984, c. 460, § 55-248.49; 1999, c. 77; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1313. (Effective October 1, 2019) Notice of uncorrected violations.

If a landlord does not remedy a violation of an ordinance that pertains to the health and safety of tenants in a manufactured home park within seven days of receiving notice from the locality of such violation, the locality shall notify tenants of the manufactured home park who are affected by the violation. Such notification may consist of posting the notice of violation in a conspicuous place in the manufactured home park or mailing copies of the notice to affected tenants.

2017, c. 734, § 55-248.49:1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1314. (Effective October 1, 2019) Retaliatory conduct prohibited.

A. Except as provided in this section, or as otherwise provided by law, a landlord shall not retaliate by selectively increasing rent or decreasing services or by bringing or threatening to bring an action for possession after the landlord has knowledge that (i) the tenant has complained to a governmental agency charged with responsibility for enforcement of a building or housing code of a violation applicable to the premises materially affecting health or safety, (ii) the tenant has made a complaint to or filed an action against the landlord for a violation of any provision of this chapter, (iii) the tenant has organized or become a member of a tenant's organization, or (iv) the tenant has testified in a court proceeding against the landlord.

B. The landlord shall be deemed to have knowledge of a fact if he has actual knowledge of it, he has received a notice or notification of it, or, from all the facts and circumstances known to him at the time in question, he has reason to know that it exists.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections A and B, a landlord may terminate the rental agreement pursuant to subsection A of § 55.1-1308 and bring an action for possession if:

1. Violation of the applicable building and housing code was caused by lack of reasonable care by the tenant, a member of the tenant's household, or a guest or invitee of the tenant;

2. The tenant is in default in rent; or

3. The tenant is in default of a provision of the rental agreement materially affecting the health and safety of the tenant or others.

1986, c. 586, § 55-248.50; 1991, c. 185; 1992, c. 709; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1315. (Effective October 1, 2019) Eviction of tenant.

A landlord may evict a tenant only for:

1. Nonpayment of rent;

2. Violation of the applicable building and housing code caused by a lack of reasonable care by the tenant, a member of the tenant's household, or a guest or invitee of the tenant;

3. Violation of a federal, state, or local law or ordinance that is detrimental to the health, safety, and welfare of other tenants in the manufactured home park;

4. Violation of any rule or provisions of the rental agreement materially affecting the health, safety, and welfare of the tenant or others; or

5. Two or more violations of any rule or provision of the rental agreement occurring within a six-month period.

1992, c. 709, § 55-248.50:1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1316. (Effective October 1, 2019) Right to sell manufactured home upon eviction.

A tenant who has been evicted from a manufactured home park shall have 90 days after judgment has been entered in which to sell the manufactured home or remove the manufactured home from the manufactured home park. Such tenant shall be responsible for paying the rental amount and for regular maintenance of the manufactured home lot during the period between the date of eviction and the sale of the manufactured home or the removal of the manufactured home from the manufactured home park. Such right to keep the manufactured home in the manufactured home park shall be conditioned upon the payment of all rent accrued prior to the date of judgment and prospective monthly rent as it becomes due. During such term, a secured party shall be liable for such charges as provided in § 55.1-1305. The manufactured home park owner shall have a lien on the manufactured home to the extent that such rental payments are not made. Any sale of the manufactured home shall be subject to the rights of any secured party having a security interest in the home, and the lien granted to the manufactured home park owner under this section shall be subject to any such security interest.

1992, c. 709, § 55-248.50:2; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1317. (Effective October 1, 2019) Transfer of deposits upon purchase.

The manufactured home park owner shall transfer any security deposits and any accrued interest on the deposits in his possession to the new manufactured home park owner at the time of the transfer of the rental property. If the current manufactured home park owner has entered into a written property management agreement with a managing agent in accordance with the provisions of subsection E of § 54.1-2135, the current manufactured home park owner shall give written notice to the managing agent requesting payment of such security deposits to the current manufactured home park owner prior to settlement with the new manufactured home park owner. Upon receipt of the written notice, the managing agent shall transfer the security deposits to the current manufactured home park owner and provide written notice to each tenant that his security deposit has been transferred to the new manufactured home park owner in accordance with this section.

1984, c. 281, § 55-507; 2017, cc. 63, 402; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1318. (Effective October 1, 2019) Penalties for violation of chapter.

If the landlord acts in willful violation of § 55.1-1303, 55.1-1306, 55.1-1310, or 55.1-1314 or if the landlord fails to provide a written, dated rental agreement, the tenant is entitled to recover from the landlord an amount equal to the greater of either the tenant's monthly rental payment at the time of the violation or actual damages and reasonable attorney fees.

1986, c. 586, § 55-248.51; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1319. (Effective October 1, 2019) Injunctive relief.

The attorney for any locality may file an action for injunctive relief for violations of this chapter.

1987, c. 111, § 55-248.52; 2019, c. 712.

Chapter 14. Nonresidential Tenancies.

Article 1. General Provisions

§ 55.1-1400. (Effective October 1, 2019) Applicability; right to terminate tenant.

A. As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning, "nonresidential tenancy" means the rental of any real estate for purposes other than residential use, including business, industrial, or agricultural purposes.

B. The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all nonresidential tenancies. The lease or rental agreement controls the landlord-tenant relationship unless such lease or rental agreement is silent, in which case the provisions of this chapter apply. The right to evict a tenant whose right of possession has been terminated in any commercial or other nonresidential tenancy under this chapter may be effectuated by self-help eviction without further legal process so long as such eviction does not incite a breach of the peace. However, nothing in this chapter shall be construed to preclude termination of any commercial or other nonresidential tenancy by the filing of an unlawful detainer action, entry of an order of possession, and eviction pursuant to § 55.1-1416.

Code 1919, § 5512; Code 1950, § 55-217; 2017, c. 730; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1401. (Effective October 1, 2019) Appointment of resident agent by nonresident property owner; service of process, etc., on such agent or on Secretary of the Commonwealth.

A. As used in this section, "nonresident property owner" means any nonresident individual or group of individuals who owns and leases commercial real property within a county or city in the Commonwealth.

B. Every nonresident property owner shall appoint and continuously maintain an agent who (i) if such agent is an individual, is a resident of the Commonwealth, or if such agent is a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or other entity, is authorized to transact business in the Commonwealth and (ii) maintains a business office within the Commonwealth. Every lease executed by or on behalf of nonresident property owners regarding any such real property shall specifically designate such agent and the agent's office address for the purpose of service of any process, notice, order, or demand required or permitted by law to be served upon such nonresident property owner.

C. Whenever any nonresident property owner fails to appoint or maintain an agent, as required in this section, or whenever his agent cannot with reasonable diligence be found, then the Secretary of the Commonwealth shall be an agent of the nonresident property owner upon whom may be served any process, notice, order, or demand. Service may be made on the Secretary of the Commonwealth or any of his staff at his office who shall forthwith cause it to be sent by registered or certified mail addressed to the nonresident property owner at his address as shown on the official tax records maintained by the locality where the property is located.

D. The name and office address of the agent appointed as provided in this section shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the court in which deeds are recorded in the county or city in which the property lies. Recordation shall be in the same book as certificates of fictitious names are recorded as provided by § 59.1-74 for which the clerk shall be entitled to a fee of $10.

E. No nonresident property owner shall maintain an action in the courts of the Commonwealth concerning property for which a designation is required by this section until such designation has been filed.

1973, c. 301, § 55-218.1; 1987, c. 360; 2006, c. 318; 2008, c. 119; 2019, cc. 365, 712.

§ 55.1-1402. (Effective October 1, 2019) Apportionment on purchase of part of land by holder of rent.

When the holder of a rent purchases part of the land out of which the rent issues, such rent shall be apportioned in like manner as if the land had come to him by descent, and when the holder of land that is part of land out of which rent issues purchases such rent or part of it, the rent so purchased shall be apportioned as in like manner as if the land had come to him by descent.

Code 1919, § 5547; Code 1950, § 55-219; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1403. (Effective October 1, 2019) Perfection of lien or interest in leases, rents, and profits.

The recordation pursuant to § 55.1-600, in the county or city in which the real property is located, of any deed, deed of trust, or other instrument granting, transferring, or assigning the interest of the grantor, transferor, assignor, pledgor, or lessor in leases, rents, or profits arising from the real property described in such deed, deed of trust, or other instrument shall fully perfect the interest of the grantee, transferee, assignee, or pledgee as to the assignor and all third parties without the necessity of (i) furnishing notice to the assignor or lessee, (ii) obtaining possession of the real property, (iii) impounding the rents, (iv) securing the appointment of a receiver, or (v) taking any other affirmative action. The lessee is authorized to pay the assignor until the lessee receives written notification that rents due or to become due have been assigned and that payment is to be made to the assignee.

1992, c. 67, § 55-220.1; 1993, c. 427; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1404. (Effective October 1, 2019) Energy submetering, energy allocation equipment, sewer and water submetering equipment, ratio utility billings systems; local government fees.

A. As used in this section:

"Building" means all of the individual units served through the same utility-owned meter within a building that is used as a nonresidential tenancy, including a building used as an office building or shopping center as those terms are defined in § 56-245.2.

"Campground" means the same as that term is defined in § 35.1-1.

"Campsite" means the same as that term is defined in § 35.1-1.

"Energy allocation equipment" means the same as that term is defined in § 56-245.2.

"Energy submetering equipment" has the same meaning ascribed to "submetering equipment" in § 56-245.2.

"Local government fees" means any local government charges or fees assessed against a building or campground, including stormwater, recycling, trash collection, elevator testing, or fire or life safety testing.

"Ratio utility billing system" means a program that utilizes a mathematical formula for allocating, among the tenants in a building or campground, the actual or anticipated water, sewer, electrical, oil, or natural gas billings billed to the building or campground owner from a third-party provider of the utility service. Permitted allocation methods may include formulas based on square footage, occupancy, number of bedrooms, or some other specific method agreed to by the building or campground owner and the tenant in the rental agreement or lease.

"Water and sewer submetering equipment" means equipment used to measure actual water or sewer usage in any nonresidential rental unit, as defined in § 56-245.2, when such equipment is not owned or controlled by the utility or other provider of water or sewer service that provides service to the building in which the nonresidential rental unit is located or campground where the campsite is located.

B. Energy submetering equipment, energy allocation equipment, water and sewer submetering equipment, or a ratio utility billing system may be used in a building or campground if clearly stated in the rental agreement or lease for the leased premises. All energy submetering equipment and energy allocation equipment shall meet the requirements and standards established and enforced by the State Corporation Commission pursuant to § 56-245.3.

C. If energy submetering equipment, water and sewer submetering equipment, or energy allocation equipment is used in any building or campground, the owner, manager, or operator of the building or campground shall bill the tenant for electricity, oil, natural gas, or water and sewer for the same billing period as the utility serving the building or campground, unless the rental agreement or lease expressly provides otherwise. The owner, manager, or operator of the building or campground may charge and collect from the tenant additional service charges, including monthly billing fees, account set-up fees, or account move-out fees, to cover the actual costs of administrative expenses and billing charged to the building or campground owner, manager, or operator by a third-party provider of such services, provided that such charges are agreed to by the building or campground owner and the tenant in the rental agreement or lease. The building or campground owner may require the tenant to pay a late charge of up to $5 if the tenant fails to make payment when due, which shall not be less than 15 days following the date of mailing or delivery of the bill sent pursuant to this section.

D. If a ratio utility billing system is used in any building or campground, in lieu of increasing the rent, the owner, manager, or operator of the building or campground may employ such a program that utilizes a mathematical formula for allocating, among the tenants in a building or campground, the actual or anticipated water, sewer, electrical, oil, or natural gas billings billed to the building or campground owner from a third-party provider of the utility service. The owner, manager, or operator of the building or campground may charge and collect from the tenant additional service charges, including monthly billing fees, account set-up fees, or account move-out fees, to cover the actual costs of administrative expenses and billings charged to the building or campground owner, manager, or operator by a third-party provider of such services, provided that such charges are agreed to by the building or campground owner and the tenant in the rental agreement or lease. The building or campground owner may require the tenant to pay a late charge of up to $5 if the tenant fails to make payment when due, which shall not be less than 15 days following the date of mailing or delivery of the bill sent pursuant to this section.

E. Energy allocation equipment shall be tested periodically by the owner, manager, or operator of the building or campground. Upon the request by a tenant, the owner shall test the energy allocation equipment without charge. The test conducted without charge to the tenant shall not be conducted more frequently than once in a 24-month period for the same tenant. The tenant or his designated representative may be present during the testing of the energy allocation equipment. A written report of the results of the test shall be made to the tenant within 10 working days after the completion of the test.

F. The owner of any building or campground shall maintain adequate records regarding energy submetering equipment, water and sewer submetering equipment, energy allocation equipment, or a ratio utility billing system. A tenant may inspect and copy the records for the leased premises during reasonable business hours at a convenient location within the building or campground. The owner of the building or campground may impose and collect a reasonable charge for copying documents, reflecting the actual costs of materials and labor for copying, prior to providing copies of the records to the tenant.

G. Notwithstanding any enforcement action undertaken by the State Corporation Commission pursuant to its authority under § 56-245.3, tenants and owners shall retain any private right of action resulting from any breach of the rental agreement or lease terms required by this section or § 56-245.3, if applicable, to the same extent as such actions may be maintained for breach of other terms of the rental agreement or lease under this chapter, if applicable. The use of energy submetering equipment, water and sewer submetering equipment, energy allocation equipment, or a ratio utility billing system is not within the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services under Chapter 56 (§ 3.2-5600 et seq.) of Title 3.2.

H. In lieu of increasing the rent, the owner, manager, or operator of a building or campground may employ a program that utilizes a mathematical formula for allocating the actual or anticipated local government fees billed to the building or campground owner among the tenants in such building or campground if clearly stated in the rental agreement or lease for the leased premises. Permitted allocation methods may include formulas based upon square footage, occupancy, number of bedrooms, or some other specific method agreed to by the building or campground owner and the tenant in the rental agreement or lease. Such owner, manager, or operator of a building or campground may also charge and collect from each tenant additional service charges, including monthly billing fees, account set-up fees, or account move-out fees, to cover the actual costs of administrative expenses for administration of such a program.

I. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit an owner, manager, or operator of a building or campground from including water, sewer, electrical, natural gas, oil, or other utilities in the amount of rent as specified in the rental agreement or lease.

1992, c. 766, § 55-226.2; 2003, c. 355; 2005, c. 278; 2010, c. 550; 2012, c. 338; 2014, c. 501; 2015, c. 596; 2017, c. 730; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1405. (Effective October 1, 2019) Transfer of deposits upon purchase.

The current owner of nonresidential rental property shall transfer any security deposits and any accrued interest on the deposits in his possession to the new owner at the time of the transfer of the rental property. If the current owner has entered into a written property management agreement with a managing agent in accordance with the provisions of subsection E of § 54.1-2135, the current owner shall give written notice to the managing agent requesting payment of such security deposits to the current owner prior to settlement with the new owner. Upon receipt of the written notice, the managing agent shall transfer the security deposits to the current owner and provide written notice to each tenant that his security deposit has been transferred to the new owner in accordance with this section.

1984, c. 281, § 55-507; 2017, cc. 63, 402; 2019, c. 712.

Article 2. Assignments

§ 55.1-1406. (Effective October 1, 2019) Grantees and assignees have same rights against lessees as lessors.

A grantee or assignee of any land leased, or of the reversion thereof, and his heirs, personal representative, or assigns, shall enjoy against the lessee, and his heirs, personal representative, or assigns, the like advantage, by action or entry for any forfeiture or by action upon any covenant or promise in the lease that the grantor, assignor, or lessor, or his heirs, might have enjoyed.

2017, c. 730, § 55-217.1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1407. (Effective October 1, 2019) Lessees have same rights against grantees as against lessors.

A lessee, his personal representative, or his assigns may have against a grantee or alienee of the reversion, or of any part of such reversion, his heirs, or his assigns the like benefit of any condition, covenant, or promise in the lease as he could have had against the lessor himself and his heirs and assigns, except the benefit of any warranty, in deed or law.

Code 1919, § 5513; Code 1950, § 55-218; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1408. (Effective October 1, 2019) What powers to pass to grantee or devisee; when attornment unnecessary.

In conveyances or devises of rents in fee, with powers of distress and reentry, or either of them, such powers shall pass to the grantee or devisee without express words. A grant or devise of a rent, or of a reversion or remainder, is good and effectual without attornment of the tenant, but no tenant who, before notice of the grant, paid the rent to the grantor shall suffer any damage as a result of such payment.

Code 1919, § 5514; Code 1950, § 55-220; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1409. (Effective October 1, 2019) When attornment void.

The attornment of a tenant to any stranger is void, unless it is with the consent of the landlord of such tenant or pursuant to or in consequence of the judgment or order of a court.

Code 1919, § 5515; Code 1950, § 55-221; 2019, c. 712.

Article 3. Landlord Obligations

§ 55.1-1410. (Effective October 1, 2019) Notice to terminate a tenancy in nonresidential rental property; notice of change in use of multifamily residential building.

A. A year-to-year tenancy in a nonresidential rental property may be terminated by either party giving three months' notice, in writing, prior to the end of any year of the tenancy, of his intention to terminate the same. A month-to-month tenancy may be terminated by either party giving 30 days' notice in writing, prior to the next rent due date, of his intention to terminate the same, unless the rental agreement provides for a different notice period. Written notice of termination shall be given in accordance with this chapter or the lease agreement.

B. In addition to the termination rights set forth in subsection A, and notwithstanding the terms of the lease, the landlord may terminate a lease agreement in a multifamily residential building due to rehabilitation or a change in the use of all or any part of such building that contains at least four residential units, upon 120 days' prior written notice to the tenant. Changes in use shall include conversion to hotel, motel, apartment hotel, or other commercial use, planned unit development, substantial rehabilitation, demolition, or sale to a contract purchaser requiring an empty building. This 120-day notice requirement shall not be waived except in the case of a month-to-month tenancy, which may be terminated by the landlord by giving the tenant 30 days' written notice prior to the next rent due date of the landlord's intention to terminate the tenancy.

The written notice required by this section to terminate a tenancy shall not be contained in the rental agreement or lease, but shall be a separate writing.

Code 1919, § 5516; Code 1950, § 55-222; 1981, c. 155; 1986, c. 428; 1987, c. 473; 2004, c. 123; 2007, c. 634; 2013, c. 563; 2015, c. 596; 2017, c. 730; 2018, c. 221; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1411. (Effective October 1, 2019) Nonresidential buildings destroyed or lessee deprived of possession; covenant to pay rent or repair; reduction of rent.

No covenant or promise by a lessee of nonresidential property to pay the rent, or that he will keep or leave the premises in good repair, shall have the effect, if the buildings on the premises are destroyed by fire or otherwise, in whole or in part, without fault or negligence on his part, or if he is deprived of the possession of the premises by the public enemy, of binding him to make such payment or repair or erect such buildings again, unless there are other words showing it to be the intent of the parties that he should be so bound. But in case of such destruction there shall be a reasonable reduction of the rent for such time as may elapse until there are again upon the premises buildings of as much value to the tenant for his purposes as what may have been so destroyed, and, in case of such deprivation of possession, a like reduction until possession of the premises is restored to him.

Code 1919, § 5180; Code 1950, § 55-226; 2017, c. 730; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1412. (Effective October 1, 2019) Security systems for nonresidential rental property.

No landlord of a premises used for nonresidential purposes shall unreasonably withhold or delay consent for the tenant to install security systems within such premises.

1981, c. 81, § 55-226.1; 2019, c. 712.

Article 4. Landlord Remedies

§ 55.1-1413. (Effective October 1, 2019) Effect of failure of tenant in nonresidential rental property to vacate premises at expiration of term.

A tenant from year-to-year, month-to-month, or other definite term in a nonresidential rental property shall not, by his mere failure to vacate the premises upon the expiration of the lease, be held as tenant for another term when such failure is not due to his willfulness, negligence, or other avoidable cause, but such tenant shall be liable to the lessor for use and occupation of the premises and also for any loss or damage sustained by the lessor because of such failure to surrender possession at the time stipulated.

Code 1919, § 5517; Code 1950, § 55-223; 2017, c. 730; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1414. (Effective October 1, 2019) Abandonment of nonresidential rental property.

If any tenant from whom rent is owing and unpaid abandons a nonresidential rental property and leaves such premises unoccupied, and if the tenant's personal property that is subject to distress is not sufficient to satisfy the rent owed, the lessor or his agent may post a written notice on a conspicuous part of the premises requiring the tenant to pay the rent within 10 days from the date of such notice, in the case of a monthly tenant, or within one month from the date of such notice, in the case of a yearly tenant. If the owed rent is not paid within the time specified in the notice, the lessor shall be entitled to possession of the premises and may enter the premises, and the right of such tenant to possess the premises shall terminate, but the landlord may recover the rent up to such termination.

Code 1919, § 5518; Code 1950, § 55-224; 2017, c. 730; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1415. (Effective October 1, 2019) Failure to pay certain rents after five days' notice forfeits right of possession.

If any tenant or lessee of nonresidential rental property who is in default in the payment of rent continues to be in default five days after receipt of written notice that requires possession of the premises or the payment of rent, such tenant or lessee forfeits his right to possession of the premises. In such case, the possession of the defendant may, at the option of the landlord or lessor, be deemed unlawful, and he may proceed to recover possession of the premises.

The right to evict a tenant whose right of possession has been terminated in any nonresidential tenancy under this chapter may be effectuated by self-help eviction without further legal process so long as such eviction does not incite a breach of the peace. However, nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude termination of any nonresidential tenancy by the filing of an unlawful detainer action as provided by Article 13 (§ 8.01-124 et seq.) of Chapter 3 of Title 8.01, entry of an order of possession, and eviction pursuant to § 55.1-1416.

Code 1919, § 5448; Code 1950, § 55-225; 2008, c. 489; 2018, c. 221; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1416. (Effective October 1, 2019) Authority of sheriffs to store and sell personal property removed from nonresidential premises; recovery of possession by owner; disposition or sale.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 8.01-156, when personal property is removed from any nonresidential rental property pursuant to an action of unlawful detainer or ejectment, or pursuant to any other action in which personal property is removed from the premises in order to restore such premises to the person entitled to such premises, the sheriff shall oversee the removal of such personal property to be placed into the public way. The tenant shall have the right to remove his personal property from the public way during the 24-hour period after eviction. Upon the expiration of the 24-hour period after eviction, the landlord shall remove, or dispose of, any such personal property remaining in the public way.

At the landlord's request, any personal property removed pursuant to this section shall be placed into a storage area designated by the landlord, which may be the leased or rented premises. The tenant shall have the right to remove his personal property from the landlord's designated storage area at reasonable times during the 24 hours after eviction from the premises or at such other reasonable times until the landlord has disposed of the property as provided in this section. During that 24-hour period and until the landlord disposes of the remaining personal property of the tenant, the landlord and the sheriff shall not have any liability for the loss of such personal property. If the landlord fails to allow reasonable access to the tenant to remove his personal property as provided in this section, the tenant shall have a right to injunctive relief and such other relief as may be provided by law.

Any property remaining in the landlord's storage area upon the expiration of the 24-hour period after eviction may be disposed of by the landlord as the landlord sees fit or appropriate. If the landlord receives any funds from any sale of such remaining property, the landlord shall pay such funds to the account of the tenant and apply such funds to any amounts due the landlord by the tenant, including the reasonable costs incurred by the landlord in the eviction process described in this section or the reasonable costs incurred by the landlord in selling or storing such property. If any funds are remaining after application, the remaining funds shall be treated as security deposit under applicable law.

The notice posted by the sheriff setting the date and time of the eviction, pursuant to § 8.01-470, shall provide notice to the tenant of the rights afforded to tenants in this section and shall include in the notice a copy of this statute attached to, or made a part of, this notice.

Nothing in this section shall affect the right of a landlord to enforce an inchoate or perfected lien of the landlord on the personal property of a tenant in a nonresidential premises leased to such tenant or the right of a landlord to distress, levy, and seize such personal property as otherwise provided by law.

2001, c. 222, § 55-237.1; 2006, cc. 91, 129; 2016, c. 744; 2017, c. 730; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1417. (Effective October 1, 2019) Who may recover rent or possession.

Notwithstanding any rule of court to the contrary, (i) any person licensed under the provisions of § 54.1-2106.1, (ii) any property manager or the managing agent of a landlord as defined in § 55.1-1200 pursuant to the written property management agreement, or directors, or by a manager, a general partner, or a trustee, of a partnership, association, corporation, limited liability company, limited partnership, professional corporation, professional limited liability company, registered limited liability partnership, registered limited liability limited partnership, business trust, or family trust to sign pleadings as the agent of the business entity, may obtain a judgment (a) for possession in the general district court for the county or city in which the premises, or part thereof, is situated or (b) for rent or damages, including actual damages for breach of the rental agreement, or for final rent and damages under § 8.01-128, in any general district court where venue is proper under Chapter 5 (§ 8.01-257 et seq.) of Title 8.01, against any defendant if the person seeking such judgment had a contractual agreement with the landlord to manage the premises for which rent or possession is due and may prepare, execute, file, and have served on other parties in any general district court a warrant in debt, suggestion for summons in garnishment, garnishment summons, order of possession, writ of eviction, or writ of fieri facias arising out of a landlord-tenant relationship. However, the activities of any such person in court shall be limited by the provisions of § 16.1-88.03. However, nothing shall be construed as preventing a nonlawyer from requesting relief from the court as provided by law or statute when such nonlawyer is before the court on one of the actions specified herein.

1983, c. 8, § 55-246.1; 1989, c. 612; 1998, c. 452; 2003, cc. 665, 667; 2004, cc. 338, 365; 2010, c. 550; 2013, c. 563; 2015, c. 190; 2018, c. 221; 2019, cc. 180, 477, 700, 712.

Article 5. Miscellaneous Provisions

§ 55.1-1418. (Effective October 1, 2019) Remedy when rent is to be paid in other thing than money.

When goods are distrained or attached for rent reserved in a share of the crop, or in anything other than money, the claimant of the rent shall give the tenant 10 days' notice, and the claimant may then apply to the court to which the attachment is returnable, or the circuit court of the county or city in which the distress is made, to ascertain the value in money of the rent reserved and to order a sale of the goods distrained or attached. The tenant may make the same defenses that he could to a motion on a forfeited forthcoming bond given for rent and may also contest the value of what was reserved for the rent. The court shall ascertain, either by its own judgment or, if either party requires it, by the verdict of a jury impaneled without the formality of pleading, the extent of the liability of the tenant for rent and the value in money of such rent and if the tenant has been served with notice shall enter judgment against him for the amount so ascertained. It shall also order the goods distrained or attached, or so much thereof as may be necessary, to be sold to pay the amount so ascertained. The officer charged with the execution of such warrant or attachment shall return such warrant or attachment to the clerk's office of the court, showing how he has executed such warrant or attachment. If the goods so directed to be sold prove insufficient to pay the amount of the rent so ascertained, an execution may be issued on the judgment as in case of other judgments, which may be levied on such property as would be leviable under an execution issued on a judgment in an action brought to recover the rent.

Code 1919, § 5529; Code 1950, § 55-238; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1419. (Effective October 1, 2019) Proceedings to establish right of reentry; judgment.

Any person who has a right of reentry into lands by reason of any rent issuing thereout being in arrear, or by reason of the breach of any covenant or condition, may serve a declaration in ejectment on the tenant in possession, if any, or, if the possession is vacant, by posting the declaration upon the front door of the building, or at any other notorious place on the premises, and such service shall be in lieu of a demand and reentry. Upon proof to the court, by affidavit in case of judgment by default or upon proof on the trial, that the rent claimed was due and no sufficient distress was upon the premises, or that the covenant or condition was broken before the service of the declaration and that the plaintiff had power to reenter, he shall recover judgment and have execution for such lands.

Code 1919, § 5530; Code 1950, § 55-239; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1420. (Effective October 1, 2019) When defendant barred of relief.

Should the defendant to a proceeding filed pursuant to § 55.1-1419, or other person on his behalf, not pay the rent in arrear, with interest and costs, nor file a complaint for relief against such forfeiture, within 12 months after execution executed, he shall be barred of all right to be restored to such lands or tenements.

Code 1919, § 5531; Code 1950, § 55-240; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1421. (Effective October 1, 2019) How trustee or mortgagee relieved from the forfeiture.

Any mortgagee or trustee of lands subject to a proceeding filed pursuant to § 55.1-1419 may, within 12 months after execution executed, pay the rent and all arrears, with interest and costs, or file a complaint for relief against such forfeiture; and thereupon may be relieved against it, on the same terms and conditions as the owner of such lands or tenements would be entitled to.

Code 1919, § 5532; Code 1950, § 55-241; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1422. (Effective October 1, 2019) How owner relieved in court.

If the owner of lands subject to a proceeding filed pursuant to § 55-1419, or any person having right or claim to such land, files within the appropriate time his complaint for relief, he shall not have or continue any injunction against the proceedings at law on the ejectment, unless, within 30 days following a full and perfect answer filed by the plaintiff in ejectment, he brings into court, or deposits in a bank within the Commonwealth to the credit of the cause, such money as the plaintiff in ejectment, in his answers, swears to be due and in arrear, over and above all just allowances and also the costs taxed in the action, there to remain until the hearing of the cause, or to be paid out to the plaintiff on good security, subject to the order of the court. If the complaint is filed within the appropriate time, and after execution executed, the plaintiff shall be accountable for no more than he, really and bona fide, without fraud, deceit, or willful neglect, makes of the premises from the time of his entering into the actual possession of the premises, and if it is less than the rent payable, then the possession shall not be restored until the plaintiff is paid the balance of the rent for the time he so held the lands.

Code 1919, § 5533; Code 1950, § 55-242; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1423. (Effective October 1, 2019) How judgment of forfeiture prevented.

If any party having right or claim to lands subject to a proceeding filed pursuant to § 55.1-1419, at any time before the trial in such ejectment, pays to the party entitled to such rent, or to his attorney, or pays into court, all the rent and arrears owed, along with any reasonable attorney fees and late charges contracted for in a written rental agreement, interest, and costs, all further proceedings in the ejectment shall cease. If the person claiming the land is relieved, he is entitled to hold the land in the same manner as he was prior to the commencement of the proceedings, without a new lease or conveyance. If the parties dispute the amount of rent and other charges owed, the court shall take evidence on the issue and make orders for the tender, payment, or refund of any appropriate amounts.

Code 1919, § 5534; Code 1950, § 55-243; 1992, c. 427; 1998, c. 269; 2010, c. 793; 2012, c. 788; 2013, c. 563; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1424. (Effective October 1, 2019) When action for reentry brought.

Proceedings for ejectment shall not be initiated until the time for reentry of the premises specified in the rental agreement has lapsed.

Code 1919, § 5535; Code 1950, § 55-244; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1425. (Effective October 1, 2019) Written act of reentry to be returned and recorded and certificate of reentry published.

When actual reentry is made, the party by or for whom the reentry is made shall return a written act of reentry, sworn to by the sheriff or another authorized officer, to the clerk of the circuit court of the county or city in which the lands or tenements are located. The clerk shall record the written act of reentry in the deed book and shall deliver to the party making the reentry a certificate setting forth the substance of such written act. Such certificate shall be published at least once a week for two months successively in a newspaper published in or nearest to such county or city. Such publication shall be proved by affidavit to the satisfaction of the clerk, who shall record such affidavit in the deed book. Such affidavit shall reference the book and page where the original written act of reentry was recorded. The clerk shall return the original act of reentry to the party entitled to it. The written act of reentry, when recorded, and the record of such written act, or a duly certified copy from such record, shall be evidence, in all cases, of the facts contained therein.

Code 1919, § 5536; Code 1950, § 55-245; 2014, c. 330; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1426. (Effective October 1, 2019) Fee of clerk.

The clerk shall be paid for recording, granting certificate, and noting publication, as required by § 55.1-1425, the fee prescribed in subdivision A 2 of § 17.1-275 and shall collect and account for the same tax upon every such act of reentry offered for record as is levied by law upon deeds of conveyance.

Code 1919, § 5537; Code 1950, § 55-246; 1994, c. 432; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1427. (Effective October 1, 2019) How person entitled to lands may be restored to his possession.

If the person entitled to lands subject to a proceeding filed pursuant to § 55.1-1419 at the time of reentry made, or having claim to such lands, does not pay the rent and all arrears owed, with interest and all reasonable expenses incurred about such reentry, within one year from the first day of publication pursuant to § 55.1-1425, he shall be forever barred from all right to the lands. If any party who has the right of possession pays the rent and arrears owed, with interest and expenses pursuant to this section, to the party making reentry, within the required time, he shall be reinstated in his possession to hold as if the reentry had not been made.

Code 1919, § 5538; Code 1950, § 55-247; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1428. (Effective October 1, 2019) Limitation of action against person in possession by reentry.

No person who, or who with his predecessor in title under whom he claims, has possessed lands by virtue of a reentry for the term of two years shall be disturbed therein by action or otherwise for any defect of proceedings in such entry.

Code 1919, § 5539; Code 1950, § 55-248; 2019, c. 712.

Chapter 15. Residential Ground Rent Act.

§ 55.1-1500. (Effective October 1, 2019) Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

"Land" is a three-dimensional concept and includes parcels with upper or lower boundaries, or both upper and lower boundaries, as well as parcels extending ab solo usque ad coelum. Parcels of airspace constitute land within the meaning of this chapter. Any requirement in this chapter of a legally sufficient description shall be deemed to include a requirement that the upper and lower boundaries, if any, of the parcel in question be identified with reference to established data.

"Obligee" means any person or entity to whom a residential ground rent is owed.

"Obligor" means one or more individuals who are obligated to pay a residential ground rent.

"Residential ground rent" means a rent or charge paid for the use of land, whether or not title to such land is transferred to the user, or a lease of land, for personal residential purposes, (i) which is assignable by the obligor without the obligee's consent; (ii) which is for a term in excess of 15 years, including any rights of renewal at the option of the obligor; (iii) where the obligor has a present or future right to terminate such ground rent and to acquire the entire interest of the obligee in the land by the payment of a determined or determinable amount; and (iv) where the obligee's interest in the land is primarily a security interest to protect his right to be paid the rent or charge.

1975, c. 363, § 55-79.01; 1992, c. 438; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1501. (Effective October 1, 2019) Form of instrument.

Any agreement in which a residential ground rent is created shall:

1. Be reduced to writing;

2. Be in recordable form; and

3. Disclose the date, the names of the parties, the ground rent and any future adjustments to the ground rent, when such rent is payable, the duration of the agreement, and the value of the land at the time the agreement is made. If the parties agree to the amount for which the ground rent may be redeemed, such amount shall also be included in the agreement. Such agreement shall be included as a part of the deed or other instrument of transfer.

1975, c. 363, § 55-79.02; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1502. (Effective October 1, 2019) Changes in amount of rent.

The amount of a residential ground rent may be changed on demand of either the obligor or obligee at the end of five years from the date of the agreement, and every five years thereafter, by giving notice to the other party by certified mail or overnight delivery using a commercial service or the United States Postal Service between 90 and 60 days prior to such fifth anniversary. Unless the parties agree otherwise, such change in ground rent shall not exceed the percentage change for the preceding three years in the Average Consumer Price Index for all items, all urban consumers (CPI-U), as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor or such other instrument or agency of the United States or of the Commonwealth as may be designated by the General Assembly. The first of such years shall constitute the base year.

1975, c. 363, § 55-79.03; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1503. (Effective October 1, 2019) Encumbrance on real property.

A residential ground rent shall constitute a lien against the real estate from the time it is recorded. Any deed of trust or mortgage may provide that a default in payment of ground rent shall constitute a default in such deed of trust or mortgage, that the trustee or beneficiary of the deed of trust or mortgage may satisfy such obligation for rent, and that the money used to satisfy such obligation, along with interest, shall be a part of the debt secured, to be repaid as provided in § 55.1-320 et seq.

1975, c. 363, § 55-79.04; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1504. (Effective October 1, 2019) Redemption rights.

The obligor shall have the right to redeem a residential ground rent at any time after three years from the date the ground rent agreement is made. The redemption shall be effected for the amount agreed upon by the obligor and the obligee or, in the absence of such an agreement, shall be determined by capitalizing the ground rent in effect at the time of redemption, using the average rate on long-term business loans charged by commercial banks in the southeast, as published by the Federal Reserve Board. Upon tender of such amount by the obligor, together with any lawfully collectible arrearages of rent and interest thereon, the obligor may redeem the land from, and shall be entitled to a release from, all obligation to pay ground rent. Such release shall be in recordable form and the cost of recording the same, together with any other charges incidental to it, other than the state transfer tax, shall be paid by the obligor.

1975, c. 363, § 55-79.05; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1505. (Effective October 1, 2019) Incorporation of agreement into deed.

A ground rent agreement made pursuant to the provisions of this chapter may be incorporated into the deed or other instrument of transfer in the following form:

This deed is subject to annual ground rent or charge as follows:

1. Date of agreement: ______;

2. Parties:

a. Obligor: ______; and

b. Obligee: ______;

3. Ground rent and any future adjustments to it: ______;

4. When payable: ______;

5. Duration: ______;

6. Original value of land: ______; and

7. Redemption price, if agreed on: ______.

1975, c. 363, § 55-79.06; 2019, c. 712.

Chapter 16. Deeds of Lease.

§ 55.1-1600. (Effective October 1, 2019) Form of a lease.

A lease may be made in a form substantially similar to the following: "This lease, made the ____ day of ______, in the year ____, between (herein insert the names of parties), witnesseth: that the said ______ does (or do) demise unto the said ______, his personal representative and assigns, all (here describe the property) from the ____ day of ______, for the term of ______, thence ensuing, yielding therefor during the said term the rent of (here state the rent and mode of payment). Witness the following signature (or signatures)."

Code 1919, § 5165; Code 1950, § 55-57; 2019, cc. 11, 49, 712.

§ 55.1-1601. (Effective October 1, 2019) Memoranda of leases and options.

A. In lieu of the recording of a lease, a memorandum of such lease may be recorded, executed by the lessor and the lessee in the manner that would entitle a conveyance to be recorded. Such memorandum of lease shall contain at least the following information with respect to the lease:

1. The name of the lessor;

2. The name of the lessee and a reference to the lease;

3. The addresses, if any, set forth in the lease as addresses of such parties;

4. The date of the memorandum of such lease;

5. A description of the leased premises; and

6. A statement of the term, commencement date or termination date, and rights of extension or renewal, if any, to the extent required to determine the period for which or date to which the lease may be in effect.

B. In lieu of the recording of an option to purchase real estate, a memorandum of such option may be recorded, executed by the grantor of the option in the manner that would entitle a conveyance to be recorded. Such memorandum of option to purchase real estate shall contain at least the following information with respect to the option:

1. The name of the person granting the option;

2. The name of the optionee and a reference to the option;

3. The addresses, if any, set forth in the agreement as addresses of such parties;

4. The date of the memorandum of the option;

5. A description of the optioned premises;

6. The option price or reference to the document containing the method with regard to how the option price is computed; and

7. The statement of the term, commencement date or termination date, and rights of extension or renewal, if any, to the extent required to determine the period during which or date to which the option may be in effect.

1978, c. 628, § 55-57.1; 1982, c. 365; 1984, c. 573; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1602. (Effective October 1, 2019) Certain covenants of lessee "to pay the rent" and "to pay the taxes.".

In a lease, (i) a covenant by the lessee "to pay the rent" shall have the effect of a covenant that the rent reserved by the lease shall be paid to the lessor, or those entitled under the lessor, in the manner stated in the deed, and (ii) a covenant by the lessee "to pay the taxes" shall have the effect of a covenant that all the taxes, levies, and assessments upon the demised premises, or upon the lessor on account thereof, shall be paid by the lessee or those claiming under the lessee.

Code 1919, § 5178; Code 1950, § 55-76; 2019, cc. 11, 49, 712.

§ 55.1-1603. (Effective October 1, 2019) Certain covenants of lessee that "he will not assign without leave" and that "he will leave the premises in good repair.".

In a lease, (i) a covenant by the lessee that "he will not assign without leave" shall have the same effect as a covenant that the lessee will not, during the term, assign, transfer, or set over the premises, or any part of such premises, to any person without the consent, in writing, of the lessor or the lessor's representative or assigns, and (ii) a covenant by the lessee that "he will leave the premises in good repair" shall, subject to the qualifications of § 55.1-1411, have the same effect as a covenant that the demised premises will, at the expiration or other sooner determination of the term, be peaceably surrendered and yielded to the lessor or the lessor's representatives or assigns in good and substantial repair and condition, reasonable wear and tear excepted.

Code 1919, § 5179; Code 1950, § 55-77; 2019, cc. 11, 49, 712.

§ 55.1-1604. (Effective October 1, 2019) Covenant of lessor "for lessee's quiet enjoyment.".

A covenant by a lessor "for the lessee's quiet enjoyment of his term" shall have the same effect as a covenant that the lessee, or the lessee's personal representative or lawful assigns, paying the rent reserved and performing his covenants, shall peaceably possess and enjoy the demised premises, for the term granted, without any interruption or disturbance from any person.

Code 1919, § 5181; Code 1950, § 55-78; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1605. (Effective October 1, 2019) Effect of provision for reentry by lessor.

If a lease provides that "the lessor may reenter for default of ____ days in the payment of rent, or for the breach of covenants," it has the effect of an agreement that if the rent reserved, or any part of such rent, is unpaid for such number of days after the day on which it was due, or if any of the other covenants on the part of the lessee or his personal representative or assigns is broken, then, in either of such cases, the lessor, or those entitled in the lessor's place, at any time afterwards may reenter into and upon the demised premises, or any part of such premises, in the name of the whole, and the same again have, repossess, and enjoy, as of his former estate.

Code 1919, § 5182; Code 1950, § 55-79; 2019, cc. 11, 49, 712.

Chapter 17. Emblements.

§ 55.1-1700. (Effective October 1, 2019) Law of emblements.

In all cases, the right to emblements shall be as at common law, provided, however, that in any sale of land under a deed of trust or mortgage, such sale shall be made subject to the right and interest of a tenant in any crop planted by him under a bona fide lease for no more than one year, entered into by him with the mortgagor after the execution of such deed of trust or mortgage, but during such time as the mortgagor is allowed to remain in possession of the mortgaged premises and before the premises is advertised for sale under such deed of trust, or under an order in an action brought for the foreclosure of such deed of trust or mortgage.

Code 1919, § 5540; 1928, p. 1146; 1938, p. 762; Code 1950, § 55-249; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1701. (Effective October 1, 2019) What rent tenant entitled to emblements to pay.

The tenant who is entitled to emblements, or his personal representative, shall pay a reasonable rent for the land occupied by the emblements in the same proportion as such land bears in quantity and value to the entire premises. Such rent shall be apportioned among the owners of the reversion, if there is more than one, according to their respective interests.

Code 1919, § 5441; Code 1950, § 55-250; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1702. (Effective October 1, 2019) Compensation to outgoing tenant for preparation of land for crop.

In the case of an outgoing tenant, those who succeed to the land shall pay such outgoing tenant reasonable compensation for any preparation of such land by the tenant for the purpose of planting a crop if the outgoing tenant, or his personal representative, would have been entitled to emblements had the crop been planted by him.

Code 1919, § 5542; Code 1950, § 55-251; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1703. (Effective October 1, 2019) Lessee of life tenant may hold land through end of year on death of tenant; apportionment of rent.

If there is a tenant for life or other uncertain interest in land that is leased to another, upon the death of such tenant for life or termination of such other uncertain interest, the lessee may hold the land through the end of the current year of the tenancy, paying rent. The rent, if it is reserved in money, shall be apportioned between the tenant for life or other uncertain interest, or his personal representative, and those who succeed to the land. If rent is reserved in kind, it shall be paid to the tenant for life or other uncertain interest, or his personal representative, and the tenant or his personal representative, as the case may be, shall pay to those who succeed to the land a reasonable rent, in money, from the expiration of the life estate or other uncertain interest to the end of the current year of the tenancy. The rent to be paid to those who succeed to the land shall be a charge in preference to other claims on the rent received in kind by such tenant or his personal representative.

Code 1919, § 5543; Code 1950, § 55-252; 2019, c. 712.

Subtitle IV. Common Interest Communities

Chapter 18. Property Owners' Association Act.

Article 1. General Provisions

§ 55.1-1800. (Effective October 1, 2019) Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Association" means the property owners' association.

"Board of directors" means the executive body of a property owners' association or a committee that is exercising the power of the executive body by resolution or bylaw.

"Capital components" means those items, whether or not a part of the common area, for which the association has the obligation for repair, replacement, or restoration and for which the board of directors determines funding is necessary.

"Common area" means property within a development which is owned, leased, or required by the declaration to be maintained or operated by a property owners' association for the use of its members and designated as a common area in the declaration.

"Common interest community" means the same as that term is defined in § 54.1-2345.

"Common interest community manager" means the same as that term is defined in § 54.1-2345.

"Declarant" means the person or entity signing the declaration and its successors or assigns who may submit property to a declaration.

"Declaration" means any instrument, however denominated, recorded among the land records of the county or city in which the development or any part of such development is located, that either (i) imposes on the association maintenance or operational responsibilities for the common area or (ii) creates the authority in the association to impose on lots, on the owners or occupants of such lots, or on any other entity any mandatory payment of money in connection with the provision of maintenance or services for the benefit of some or all of the lots, the owners or occupants of the lots, or the common area. "Declaration" includes any amendment or supplement to the instruments described in this definition. "Declaration" does not include a declaration of a condominium, real estate cooperative, time-share project, or campground.

"Development" means real property located within the Commonwealth subject to a declaration which contains both lots, at least some of which are residential or are occupied for recreational purposes, and common areas with respect to which any person, by virtue of ownership of a lot, is a member of an association and is obligated to pay assessments provided for in a declaration.

"Disclosure packet update" means an update of the financial information referenced in subdivisions A 2 through 9 of § 55.1-1809. The update shall include a copy of the original disclosure packet.

"Electronic means" means any form of communication, not directly involving the physical transmission of paper, that creates a record that may be retained, retrieved, and reviewed by a recipient of such communication. Any term used in this definition that is defined in § 59.1-480 of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act shall have the meaning set forth in such section.

"Financial update" means an update of the financial information referenced in subdivisions A 2 through 7 of § 55.1-1809.

"Lot" means (i) any plot or parcel of land designated for separate ownership or occupancy shown on a recorded subdivision plat for a development or the boundaries of which are described in the declaration or in a recorded instrument referred to or expressly contemplated by the declaration, other than a common area, and (ii) a unit in a condominium association or a unit in a real estate cooperative if the condominium or cooperative is a part of a development.

"Lot owner" means one or more persons who own a lot, including any purchaser of a lot at a foreclosure sale, regardless of whether the deed is recorded in the land records where the lot is located. "Lot owner" does not include any person holding an interest in a lot solely as security for a debt.

"Professionally managed" means a common interest community that has engaged (i) a common interest community manager to provide management services to the community or (ii) a person as an employee for compensation to provide management services to the community, other than a resident of the community who provides bookkeeping, billing, or recordkeeping services for that community.

"Property owners' association" or "association" means an incorporated or unincorporated entity upon which responsibilities are imposed and to which authority is granted in the declaration.

"Settlement agent" means the same as that term is defined in § 55.1-1000.

1989, c. 679, § 55-509; 1991, c. 667; 1996, c. 618; 1998, c. 623; 2001, c. 715; 2002, c. 459; 2003, c. 422; 2008, cc. 851, 871; 2011, c. 334; 2015, cc. 93, 410; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1801. (Effective October 1, 2019) Applicability.

A. This chapter applies to developments subject to a declaration initially recorded after January 1, 1959, associations incorporated or otherwise organized after such date, and all subdivisions created under the Subdivided Land Sales Act (§ 55.1-2300 et seq.). For the purposes of this chapter, as used in the Subdivided Land Sales Act, the terms:

"Covenants," "deed restrictions," or "other recorded instruments" for the management, regulation, and control of a development are deemed to correspond with the term "declaration."

"Developer" is deemed to correspond with the term "declarant."

"Subdivision" is deemed to correspond with the term "development."

B. This chapter supersedes the Subdivided Land Sales Act (§ 55.1-2300 et seq.), and no development shall be subject to the Subdivided Land Sales Act on or after July 1, 1998.

This chapter shall not be construed to affect the validity of any provision of any declaration recorded prior to July 1, 1998, provided, however, that this chapter shall be applicable to any development established prior to the enactment of the Subdivided Land Sales Act (§ 55.1-2300 et seq.)(i) located in a county with an urban county executive form of government, (ii) containing 500 or more lots, (iii) each lot of which is located within the boundaries of a watershed improvement district established pursuant to Article 3 (§ 10.1-614 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of Title 10.1, and (iv) each lot of which is subject to substantially similar deed restrictions, which shall be considered a declaration under this chapter.

In addition, any development established prior to July 1, 1978, may specifically provide for the applicability of the provisions of this chapter.

C. This chapter shall not be construed to affect the validity of any provision of any prior declaration; however, to the extent that the declaration is silent, the provisions of this chapter shall apply. If any one lot in a development is subject to the provisions of this chapter, all lots in the development shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter notwithstanding the fact that such lots would otherwise be excluded from the provisions of this chapter. Notwithstanding any provisions of this chapter, a declaration may specifically provide for the applicability of the provisions of this chapter. The granting of rights in this chapter shall not be construed to imply that such rights did not exist with respect to any development created in the Commonwealth before July 1, 1989.

D. This chapter shall not apply to the (i) provisions of documents of, (ii) operations of any association governing, or (iii) relationship of a member to any association governing condominiums created pursuant to the Condominium Act (§ 55.1-1900 et seq.), cooperatives created pursuant to the Virginia Real Estate Cooperative Act (§ 55.1-2100 et seq.), time-shares created pursuant to the Virginia Real Estate Time-Share Act (§ 55.1-2200 et seq.), or membership campgrounds created pursuant to the Virginia Membership Camping Act (§ 59.1-311 et seq.). This chapter shall not apply to any nonstock, nonprofit, taxable corporation with nonmandatory membership which, as its primary function, makes available golf, ski, and other recreational facilities both to its members and to the general public.

1989, c. 679, § 55-508; 1991, c. 667; 1992, c. 677; 1998, cc. 32, 623; 2003, c. 422; 2005, c. 668; 2008, cc. 851, 871; 2018, c. 645; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1802. (Effective October 1, 2019) Developer to register and file annual report; payment of real estate taxes attributable to the common area.

A. Unless control of the association has been transferred to the members, the developer shall register the association with the Common Interest Community Board within 30 days after recordation of the declaration and thereafter shall ensure that the report required pursuant to § 55.1-1835 has been filed.

B. Upon the transfer of the common area to the association, the developer shall pay all real estate taxes attributable to the open or common space as defined in § 58.1-3284.1 through the date of the transfer to the association.

1993, c. 956, § 55-509.1; 2018, c. 733; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1803. (Effective October 1, 2019) Limitation on certain contracts and leases by declarant.

A. If entered into any time prior to the expiration of the period of declarant control contemplated by the declaration, no contract or lease entered into with the declarant or any entity controlled by the declarant, management contract, or employment contract that is directly or indirectly made by or on behalf of the association, its board of directors, or the lot owners as a group shall be entered into for a period in excess of five years. Any such contract or agreement may be terminated without penalty by the association or its board of directors upon not less than 90 days' written notice to the other party given no later than 60 days after the expiration of the period of declarant control contemplated by the declaration.

B. If entered into any time prior to the expiration of the period of declarant control contemplated by the declaration, any contract or lease entered into with the declarant or any entity controlled by the declarant, management contract, or employment contract that is directly or indirectly made by or on behalf of the association, its board of directors, or the lot owners as a group may be renewed for periods not in excess of five years; however, at the end of any five-year period, the association or its board of directors may terminate any further renewals or extensions of such contract or lease.

C. If entered into at any time prior to the expiration of the period of declarant control contemplated by the declaration, any contract, lease, or agreement, other than those subject to the provisions of subsection A or B, may be entered into by or on behalf of the association, its board of directors, or the lot owners as a group if such contract, lease, or agreement is bona fide and is commercially reasonable to the association at the time entered into under the circumstances.

D. This section shall be strictly construed to protect the rights of the lot owners.

2012, c. 671, § 55-509.1:1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1804. (Effective October 1, 2019) Documents to be provided by declarant upon transfer of control.

Unless previously provided to the board of directors of the association, once the majority of the members of the board of directors other than the declarant are owners of improved lots in the association and the declarant no longer holds a majority of the votes in the association, the declarant shall provide to the board of directors or its designated agent the following: (i) all association books and records held by or controlled by the declarant, including minute books and rules and regulations and all amendments to such rules and regulations that may have been promulgated; (ii) a statement of receipts and expenditures from the date of the recording of the association documents to the end of the regular accounting period immediately succeeding the first election of the board of directors by the lot owners, not to exceed 60 days after the date of the election, such statement being prepared in an accurate and complete manner, utilizing the accrual method of accounting; (iii) the number of lots subject to the declaration; (iv) the number of lots that may be subject to the declaration upon completion of development; (v) a copy of the latest available approved plans and specifications for all improvements in the project or as-built plans if available; (vi) all association insurance policies that are currently in force; (vii) written unexpired warranties of the contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and manufacturers, if any, relative to all common area improvements, including stormwater facilities; (viii) any contracts in which the association is a contracting party; (ix) a list of manufacturers of paints, roofing materials, and other similar materials if specified for use on the association property; (x) the number of members of the board of directors and number of such directors appointed by the declarant together with names and contact information of members of the board of directors; and (xi) an inventory and description of stormwater facilities located on the common area or which otherwise serve the development and for which the association has, or subsequently may have, maintenance, repair, or replacement responsibility, together with the requirements for maintenance thereof.

The requirement for delivery of stormwater facility information required by clause (xi) shall be deemed satisfied by delivery to the association of a final site plan or final construction drawings showing stormwater facilities as approved by a local government jurisdiction and applicable recorded easements or agreements, if any, containing requirements for the maintenance, repair, or replacement of the stormwater facilities.

If the association is managed by a common interest community manager in which the declarant, or its principals, has no pecuniary interest or management role, then such common interest community manager shall have the responsibility to provide the documents and information required by clauses (i), (ii), (vi), and (viii).

1996, c. 618, § 55-509.2; 2008, cc. 851, 871; 2012, c. 671; 2019, cc. 712, 724.

§ 55.1-1805. (Effective October 1, 2019) Association charges.

Except as expressly authorized in this chapter, in the declaration, or otherwise provided by law, no association shall (i) make an assessment or impose a charge against a lot or a lot owner unless the charge is a fee for services provided or related to use of the common area or (ii) charge a fee related to the provisions set out in § 55.1-1810 or 55.1-1811 that is not expressly authorized in those sections. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to authorize an association or common interest community manager to charge an inspection fee for an unimproved or improved lot except as provided in § 55.1-1810 or 55.1-1811. The Common Interest Community Board may assess a monetary penalty for a violation of this section against any (a) association pursuant to § 54.1-2351 or (b) common interest community manager pursuant to § 54.1-2349, and may issue a cease and desist order against the violator pursuant to § 54.1-2349 or 54.1-2352, as applicable.

2008, cc. 851, § 55-509.3, 871; 2011, c. 334; 2014, c. 216; 2015, c. 277; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1806. (Effective October 1, 2019) Rental of lots.

A. Except as expressly authorized in this chapter, in the declaration, or as otherwise provided by law, no association shall:

1. Condition or prohibit the rental to a tenant of a lot by a lot owner or make an assessment or impose a charge except as provided in § 55.1-1805;

2. Charge a rental fee, application fee, or other processing fee of any kind in excess of $50 during the term of any lease;

3. Charge an annual or monthly rental fee or any other fee not expressly authorized in § 55.1-1805;

4. Require the lot owner to use a lease or an addendum to the lease prepared by the association;

5. Charge any deposit from the lot owner or the tenant of the lot owner; or

6. Have the authority to evict a tenant of any lot owner or to require any lot owner to execute a power of attorney authorizing the association to evict such a tenant. However, if the lot owner designates a person licensed under the provisions of § 54.1-2106.1 as the lot owner's authorized representative with respect to any lease, the association shall recognize such representation without a formal power of attorney, provided that the association is given a written authorization signed by the lot owner designating such representative. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the requirements of § 55.1-1828 and the declaration shall be satisfied before any such representative may exercise a vote on behalf of a lot owner as a proxy.

B. The association may require the lot owner to provide the association with (i) the names and contact information of and vehicle information for the tenants and authorized occupants under such lease and (ii) the name and contact information of any authorized agent of the lot owner. The association may require the lot owner to provide the association with the tenant's acknowledgment of and consent to any rules and regulations of the association.

C. The provisions of this section shall not apply to lots owned by the association.

2015, c. 277, § 55-509.3:1; 2016, c. 471; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1807. (Effective October 1, 2019) Statement of lot owner rights.

Every lot owner who is a member in good standing of a property owners' association shall have the following rights:

1. The right of access to all books and records kept by or on behalf of the association according to and subject to the provisions of § 55.1-1815, including records of all financial transactions;

2. The right to cast a vote on any matter requiring a vote by the association's membership in proportion to the lot owner's ownership interest, unless the declaration provides otherwise;

3. The right to have notice of any meeting of the board of directors, to make a record of any such meeting by audio or visual means, and to participate in any such meeting in accordance with the provisions of subsection G of § 55.1-1815 and § 55.1-1816;

4. The right to have (i) notice of any proceeding conducted by the board of directors or other tribunal specified in the declaration against the lot owner to enforce any rule or regulation of the association and (ii) the opportunity to be heard and represented by counsel at such proceeding, as provided in § 55.1-1819, and the right of due process in the conduct of that hearing; and

5. The right to serve on the board of directors if duly elected and a member in good standing of the association, unless the declaration provides otherwise.

The rights enumerated in this section shall be enforceable by any such lot owner pursuant to the provisions of § 55.1-1828.

2015, c. 286, § 55-509.3:2; 2018, c. 663; 2019, c. 712.

Article 2. Disclosure Requirements; Authorized Fees

§ 55.1-1808. (Effective October 1, 2019) Contract disclosure statement; right of cancellation.

A. For purposes of this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Delivery" means that the disclosure packet is delivered to the purchaser or purchaser's authorized agent by one of the methods specified in this section.

"Purchaser's authorized agent" means any person designated by such purchaser in a ratified real estate contract for purchase and sale of residential real property or other writing designating such agent.

"Receives," "received," or "receiving" the disclosure packet means that the purchaser or purchaser's authorized agent has received the disclosure packet by one of the methods specified in this section.

"Seller's authorized agent" means a person designated by such seller in a ratified real estate contract for purchase and sale of residential real property or other writing designating such agent.

B. Subject to the provisions of subsection A of § 55.1-1814, an owner selling a lot shall disclose in the contract that (i) the lot is located within a development that is subject to the Property Owners' Association Act (§ 55.1-1800 et seq.); (ii) the Property Owners' Association Act (§ 55.1-1800 et seq.) requires the seller to obtain from the property owners' association an association disclosure packet and provide it to the purchaser; (iii) the purchaser may cancel the contract within three days after receiving the association disclosure packet or being notified that the association disclosure packet will not be available; (iv) if the purchaser has received the association disclosure packet, the purchaser has a right to request an update of such disclosure packet in accordance with subsection H of § 55.1-1810 or subsection D of § 55.1-1811, as appropriate; and (v) the right to receive the association disclosure packet and the right to cancel the contract are waived conclusively if not exercised before settlement.

For purposes of clause (iii), the association disclosure packet shall be deemed not to be available if (a) a current annual report has not been filed by the association with either the State Corporation Commission pursuant to § 13.1-936 or the Common Interest Community Board pursuant to § 55.1-1835, (b) the seller has made a written request to the association that the packet be provided and no such packet has been received within 14 days in accordance with subsection A of § 55.1-1809, or (c) written notice has been provided by the association that a packet is not available.

C. If the contract does not contain the disclosure required by subsection B, the purchaser's sole remedy is to cancel the contract prior to settlement.

D. The information contained in the association disclosure packet shall be current as of a date specified on the association disclosure packet prepared in accordance with this section; however, a disclosure packet update or financial update may be requested in accordance with subsection G of § 55.1-1810 or subsection D of § 55.1-1811, as appropriate. The purchaser may cancel the contract (i) within three days after the date of the contract if, on or before the date that the purchaser signs the contract, the purchaser receives the association disclosure packet, is notified that the association disclosure packet will not be available, or receives an association disclosure packet that is not in conformity with the provisions of § 55.1-1809; (ii) within three days after receiving the association disclosure packet if the association disclosure packet, notice that the association disclosure packet will not be available, or an association disclosure packet that is not in conformity with the provisions of § 55.1-1809 is hand delivered, delivered by electronic means, or delivered by a commercial overnight delivery service or the United States Postal Service, and a receipt is obtained; or (iii) within six days after the postmark date if the association disclosure packet, notice that the association disclosure packet will not be available, or an association disclosure packet that is not in conformity with the provisions of § 55.1-1809 is sent to the purchaser by United States mail. The purchaser also may cancel the contract at any time prior to settlement if the purchaser has not been notified that the association disclosure packet will not be available and the association disclosure packet is not delivered to the purchaser.

Notice of cancellation shall be provided to the lot owner or his agent by one of the following methods:

1. Hand delivery;

2. United States mail, postage prepaid, provided that the sender retains sufficient proof of mailing in the form of a certificate of service prepared by the sender confirming such mailing;

3. Electronic means, provided that the sender retains sufficient proof of the electronic delivery, which may be in the form of an electronic receipt of delivery, a confirmation that the notice was sent by facsimile, or a certificate of service prepared by the sender confirming the electronic delivery; or

4. Overnight delivery using a commercial service or the United States Postal Service.

In the event of a dispute, the sender shall have the burden to demonstrate delivery of the notice of cancellation. Such cancellation shall be without penalty, and the seller shall cause any deposit to be returned promptly to the purchaser.

E. Whenever any contract is canceled based on a failure to comply with subsection B or D or pursuant to subsection C, any deposit or escrowed funds shall be returned within 30 days of the cancellation, unless the parties to the contract specify in writing a shorter period.

F. Any rights of the purchaser to cancel the contract provided by this chapter are waived if not exercised prior to settlement.

G. Except as expressly provided in this chapter, the provisions of this section and § 55.1-1809 may not be varied by agreement, and the rights conferred by this section and § 55.1-1809 may not be waived.

H. Unless otherwise provided in the ratified real estate contract or other writing, delivery to the purchaser's authorized agent shall require delivery to such agent and not to a person other than such agent. Delivery of the disclosure packet may be made by the lot owner or the lot owner's authorized agent.

I. If the lot is governed by more than one association, the purchaser's right of cancellation may be exercised within the required time frames following delivery of the last disclosure packet or resale certificate.

2008, cc. 851, 871, § 55-509.4; 2010, c. 165; 2014, c. 216; 2016, c. 471; 2017, cc. 387, 405; 2018, c. 226; 2019, cc. 364, 513, 712.

§ 55.1-1809. (Effective October 1, 2019) Contents of association disclosure packet; delivery of packet.

A. Within 14 days after receipt of a written request and instructions by a seller or the seller's authorized agent, the association shall deliver an association disclosure packet as directed in the written request. The information contained in the association disclosure packet shall be current as of a date specified on the association disclosure packet. If hand or electronically delivered, the written request is deemed received on the date of delivery. If sent by United States mail, the request is deemed received six days after the postmark date. An association disclosure packet shall contain the following:

1. The name of the association and, if incorporated, the state in which the association is incorporated and the name and address of its registered agent in the Commonwealth;

2. A statement of any expenditure of funds approved by the association or the board of directors that requires an assessment in addition to the regular assessment during the current year or the immediately succeeding fiscal year;

3. A statement, including the amount of all assessments and any other mandatory fees or charges currently imposed by the association, together with any post-closing fee charged by the common interest community manager, if any, and associated with the purchase, disposition, and maintenance of the lot and to the right of use of common areas, and the status of the account;

4. A statement of whether there is any other entity or facility to which the lot owner may be liable for fees or other charges;

5. The current reserve study report or summary of such report, a statement of the status and amount of any reserve or replacement fund, and any portion of the fund allocated by the board of directors for a specified project;

6. A copy of the association's current budget or a summary of such budget, prepared by the association, and a copy of its statement of income and expenses or statement of its financial position (balance sheet) for the last fiscal year for which such statement is available, including a statement of the balance due of any outstanding loans of the association;

7. A statement of the nature and status of any pending action or unpaid judgment (i) to which the association is a party and (ii) that could or would have a material impact on the association or its members or that relates to the lot being purchased;

8. A statement setting forth the insurance coverage that is provided for all lot owners by the association, including the fidelity coverage maintained by the association, and any additional insurance that is required or recommended for each lot owner;

9. A statement that any improvement or alteration made to the lot, or uses made of the lot or common area assigned to such lot, is or is not in violation of the declaration, bylaws, rules and regulations, architectural guidelines, and articles of incorporation, if any, of the association;

10. A statement setting forth any restriction, limitation, or prohibition on the right of a lot owner to place a sign on the owner's lot advertising the lot for sale;

11. A statement setting forth any restriction, limitation, or prohibition on the right of a lot owner to display any flag on the owner's lot, including reasonable restrictions as to the size, place, and manner of placement or display of such flag and the installation of any flagpole or similar structure necessary to display such flag;

12. A statement setting forth any restriction, limitation, or prohibition on the right of a lot owner to install or use solar energy collection devices on the owner's property;

13. A copy of the current declaration, the association's articles of incorporation and bylaws, and any rules and regulations or architectural guidelines adopted by the association;

14. A copy of any approved minutes of the board of directors and association meetings for the six calendar months preceding the request for the disclosure packet;

15. A copy of the notice given to the lot owner by the association of any current or pending rule or architectural violation;

16. A copy of the fully completed form developed by the Common Interest Community Board pursuant to § 54.1-2350;

17. Certification that the association has filed with the Common Interest Community Board the annual report required by § 55.1-1835. Such certification shall indicate the filing number assigned by the Common Interest Community Board and the expiration date of such filing; and

18. A statement indicating any known project approvals currently in effect issued by secondary mortgage market agencies.

B. Failure to receive copies of an association disclosure packet shall not excuse any failure to comply with the provisions of the declaration, articles of incorporation, bylaws, or rules or regulations.

C. The disclosure packet shall be delivered in accordance with the written request and instructions of the seller or the seller's authorized agent, including whether the disclosure packet shall be delivered electronically or in hard copy, and shall specify the complete contact information for the parties to whom the disclosure packet shall be delivered. The disclosure packet required by this section shall not, in and of itself, be deemed a security as defined in § 13.1-501.

D. The seller or the seller's authorized agent may request that the disclosure packet be provided in hard copy or in electronic form. An association or common interest community manager may provide the disclosure packet electronically; however, the seller or the seller's authorized agent shall have the right to request that the association disclosure packet be provided in hard copy. The seller or the seller's authorized agent shall continue to have the right to request a hard copy of the disclosure packet in person at the principal place of business of the association. If the seller or the seller's authorized agent requests that the disclosure packet be provided in electronic format, neither the association nor its common interest community manager may require the seller or the seller's authorized agent to pay any fees to use the provider's electronic network or system. The disclosure packet shall not be delivered in hard copy if the requester has requested delivery of such disclosure packet electronically. If the disclosure packet is provided electronically by a website link, the preparer shall not cause the website link to expire within the subsequent 90-day period. The preparer shall not charge another fee during the subsequent 12-month period, except that the preparer may charge an update fee for a financial update or for an inspection as provided in § 55.1-1810. If the seller or the seller's authorized agent asks that the disclosure packet be provided in electronic format, the seller or the seller's authorized agent may request that an electronic copy be provided to each of the following named in the request: the seller, the seller's authorized agent, the purchaser, the purchaser's authorized agent, and not more than one other person designated by the requester. If so requested, the property owners' association or its common interest community manager may require the seller or the seller's authorized agent to pay the fee specified in § 55.1-1810. Regardless of whether the disclosure packet is delivered in paper form or electronically, the preparer of the disclosure packet shall provide such disclosure packet directly to the persons designated by the requester to the addresses or, if applicable, the email addresses provided by the requester.

2008, cc. 851, 871, § 55-509.5; 2013, cc. 357, 492; 2015, c. 277; 2016, c. 471; 2018, c. 70; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1810. (Effective October 1, 2019) Fees for disclosure packet; professionally managed associations.

A. A professionally managed association or its common interest community manager may charge certain fees as authorized by this section for the inspection of the property, the preparation and issuance of the disclosure packet required by § 55.1-1809, and for such other services as set out in this section. The seller or the seller's authorized agent shall specify in writing whether the disclosure packet shall be delivered electronically or in hard copy, at the option of the seller or the seller's authorized agent, and shall specify the complete contact information for the parties to whom the disclosure packet shall be delivered.

B. A reasonable fee may be charged by the preparer as follows:

1. For the inspection of the exterior of the dwelling unit and the lot, as authorized in the declaration and as required to prepare the association disclosure packet, a fee not to exceed $100;

2. For the preparation and delivery of the disclosure packet in (i) paper format, a fee not to exceed $150 for no more than two hard copies or (ii) electronic format, a fee not to exceed a total of $125 for an electronic copy to each of the following named in the request: the seller, the seller's authorized agent, the purchaser, the purchaser's authorized agent, and not more than one other person designated by the requester. The preparer of the disclosure packet shall provide the disclosure packet directly to the designated persons. Only one fee shall be charged for the preparation and delivery of the disclosure packet;

3. At the option of the seller or the seller's authorized agent, with the consent of the association or the common interest community manager, for expediting the inspection, preparation, and delivery of the disclosure packet, an additional expedite fee not to exceed $50;

4. At the option of the seller or the seller's authorized agent, for an additional hard copy of the disclosure packet, a fee not to exceed $25 per hard copy;

5. At the option of the seller or the seller's authorized agent, for hand delivery or overnight delivery of the overnight disclosure packet, a fee not to exceed an amount equal to the actual cost paid to a third-party commercial delivery service; and

6. A post-closing fee to the purchaser of the property, collected at settlement, for the purpose of establishing the purchaser as the owner of the property in the records of the association, a fee not to exceed $50.

Except as otherwise provided in subsection E, neither the association nor its common interest community manager shall require cash, check, certified funds, or credit card payments at the time the request for the disclosure packet is made. The disclosure packet shall state that all fees and costs for the disclosure packet shall be the personal obligation of the lot owner and shall be an assessment against the lot and collectible as any other assessment in accordance with the provisions of the declaration and § 55.1-1833, if not paid at settlement or within 60 days of the delivery of the disclosure packet, whichever occurs first.

For purposes of this section, an expedite fee shall be charged only if the inspection and preparation of delivery of the disclosure packet are completed within five business days of the request for a disclosure packet.

C. No fees other than those specified in this section, and as limited by this section, shall be charged by the association or its common interest community manager for compliance with the duties and responsibilities of the association under this chapter. No additional fee shall be charged for access to the association's or common interest community manager's website. The association or its common interest community manager shall publish and make available in paper or electronic format, or both, a schedule of the applicable fees so the seller or the seller's authorized agent will know such fees at the time of requesting the packet.

D. Any fees charged pursuant to this section shall be collected at the time of settlement on the sale of the lot and shall be due and payable out of the settlement proceeds in accordance with this section. The settlement agent shall escrow a sum sufficient to pay such costs of the seller at settlement. The seller shall be responsible for all costs associated with the preparation and delivery of the association disclosure packet, except for the costs of any disclosure packet update or financial update, which costs shall be the responsibility of the requester, payable at settlement. Neither the association nor its common interest community manager shall require cash, check, certified funds, or credit card payments at the time the request is made for the association disclosure packet.

E. If settlement does not occur within 60 days of the delivery of the disclosure packet, or funds are not collected at settlement and disbursed to the association or the common interest community manager, all fees, including those costs that would have otherwise been the responsibility of the purchaser or settlement agent, shall be (i) assessed within one year after delivery of the disclosure packet against the lot owner, (ii) the personal obligation of the lot owner, and (iii) an assessment against the lot and collectible as any other assessment in accordance with the provisions of the declaration and § 55.1-1834. The seller may pay the association by cash, check, certified funds, or credit card, if credit card payment is an option offered by the association. The association shall pay the common interest community manager the amount due from the lot owner within 30 days after invoice.

F. The maximum allowable fees charged in accordance with this section shall adjust every five years, as of January 1 of that year, in an amount equal to the annual increases for that five-year period in the United States Average Consumer Price Index for all items, all urban consumers (CPI-U), as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.

G. If an association disclosure packet has been issued for a lot within the preceding 12-month period, a person specified in the written instructions of the seller or the seller's authorized agent, including the seller or the seller's authorized agent, or the purchaser or his authorized agent may request a disclosure packet update. The requester shall specify whether the disclosure packet update shall be delivered electronically or in hard copy and shall specify the complete contact information of the parties to whom the update shall be delivered. The disclosure packet update shall be delivered within 10 days of the written request.

H. The settlement agent may request a financial update. The requester shall specify whether the financial update shall be delivered electronically or in hard copy and shall specify the complete contact information of the parties to whom the update shall be delivered. The financial update shall be delivered within three business days of the written request.

I. A reasonable fee for the disclosure packet update or financial update may be charged by the preparer not to exceed $50. At the option of the purchaser or the purchaser's authorized agent, the requester may request that the association or the common interest community manager perform an additional inspection of the exterior of the dwelling unit and the lot, as authorized in the declaration, for a fee not to exceed $100. Any fees charged for the specified update shall be collected at the time settlement occurs on the sale of the property. The settlement agent shall escrow a sum sufficient to pay such costs of the seller at settlement. Neither the association nor its common interest community manager, if any, shall require cash, check, certified funds, or credit card payments at the time the request is made for the disclosure packet update. The requester may request that the specified update be provided in hard copy or in electronic form.

J. No association or common interest community manager may require the requester to request the specified update electronically. The seller or the seller's authorized agent shall continue to have the right to request a hard copy of the specified update in person at the principal place of business of the association. If the requester asks that the specified update be provided in electronic format, neither the association nor its common interest community manager may require the requester to pay any fees to use the provider's electronic network or system. A copy of the specified update shall be provided to the seller or the seller's authorized agent.

K. When an association disclosure packet has been delivered as required by § 55.1-1809, the association shall, as to the purchaser, be bound by the statements set forth in the disclosure packet as to the status of the assessment account and the status of the lot with respect to any violation of the declaration, bylaws, rules and regulations, architectural guidelines, and articles of incorporation, if any, of the association as of the date of the statement unless the purchaser had actual knowledge that the contents of the disclosure packet were in error.

L. If the association or its common interest community manager has been requested in writing to furnish the association disclosure packet required by § 55.1-1809, failure to provide the association disclosure packet substantially in the form provided in this section shall be deemed a waiver of any claim for delinquent assessments or of any violation of the declaration, bylaws, rules and regulations, or architectural guidelines existing as of the date of the request with respect to the subject lot. The preparer of the association disclosure packet shall be liable to the seller in an amount equal to the actual damages sustained by the seller in an amount not to exceed $1,000. The purchaser shall nevertheless be obligated to abide by the declaration, bylaws, rules and regulations, and architectural guidelines of the association as to all matters arising after the date of the settlement of the sale.

M. The Common Interest Community Board may assess a monetary penalty for failure to deliver the association disclosure packet within 14 days against any (i) property owners' association pursuant to § 54.1-2351 or (ii) common interest community manager pursuant to § 54.1-2349 and regulations promulgated thereto, and may issue a cease and desist order pursuant to § 54.1-2349 or 54.1-2352, as applicable.

N. No association may collect fees authorized by this section unless the association (i) is registered with the Common Interest Community Board, (ii) is current in filing the most recent annual report and fee with the Common Interest Community Board pursuant to § 55.1-1835, (iii) is current in paying any assessment made by the Common Interest Community Board pursuant to § 54.1-2354.5, and (iv) provides the disclosure packet electronically if so requested by the requester.

2008, cc. 851, 871, § 55-509.6; 2009, c. 557; 2011, cc. 334, 577, 585; 2014, c. 216; 2015, c. 277; 2016, c. 471; 2017, cc. 387, 405; 2018, c. 226; 2019, cc. 391, 712.

§ 55.1-1811. (Effective October 1, 2019) Fees for disclosure packet; associations not professionally managed.

A. An association that is not professionally managed may charge a fee for the preparation and issuance of the association disclosure packet required by § 55.1-1809. Any fee shall reflect the actual cost of the preparation of the association disclosure packet, but shall not exceed $0.10 per page of copying costs or a total of $100 for all costs incurred in preparing the association disclosure packet. The seller or his authorized agent shall specify whether the association disclosure packet shall be delivered electronically or in hard copy and shall specify the complete contact information of the parties to whom the disclosure packet shall be delivered. If the seller or his authorized agent specifies that delivery shall be made to the purchaser or his authorized agent, the preparer shall provide the disclosure packet directly to the designated persons at the same time it is delivered to the seller or his authorized agent. The association shall advise the requester if electronic delivery of the disclosure packet or the disclosure packet update or financial update is not available, if electronic delivery has been requested by the seller or his authorized agent.

B. At the option of the seller or the seller's authorized agent, with the consent of the association, a reasonable fee may be charged for (i) expediting the inspection, preparation, and delivery of the disclosure packet, if completed within five business days of the request, not to exceed $50; (ii) an additional hard copy of the disclosure packet not to exceed $25 per hard copy; and (iii) third-party commercial delivery service for hand delivery or overnight delivery of the association disclosure packet not to exceed an amount equal to the actual cost paid.

C. No fees other than those specified in this section shall be charged by the association for compliance with duties and responsibilities under this section. Any fees charged pursuant to this section shall be collected at the time of delivery of the disclosure packet. If unpaid, any such fees shall be an assessment against the lot and collectible as any other assessment in accordance with the provisions of the declaration and § 55.1-1833. The seller may pay the association by cash, check, certified funds, or credit card, if credit card payment is an option offered by the association.

D. If an association disclosure packet has been issued for a lot within the preceding 12-month period, a person specified in the written instructions of the seller or his authorized agent, including the seller or his authorized agent, or the purchaser or his authorized agent may request a disclosure packet update. The requester shall specify whether the disclosure packet update shall be delivered electronically or in hard copy and shall specify the complete contact information of the parties to whom the specified update shall be delivered. The disclosure packet update shall be delivered within 10 days of the written request for such disclosure packet update.

E. The settlement agent may request a financial update. The requester shall specify whether the financial update shall be delivered electronically or in hard copy, and shall specify the complete contact information of the parties to whom the update shall be delivered. The financial update shall be delivered within three business days of the written request for such financial update.

F. A reasonable fee for the disclosure packet update or a financial update may be charged by the preparer not to exceed $50. At the option of the purchaser or his authorized agent, the requester may request that the association perform an additional inspection of the exterior of the dwelling unit and the lot, as authorized in the declaration, for a fee not to exceed $50. Any fees charged for the specified update shall be collected at the time of delivery of the update. The association shall not require cash, check, certified funds, or credit card payments at the time the request is made for the disclosure packet update. The requester may request that the specified update be provided in hard copy or in electronic form.

G. No association may require the requester to request the specified update electronically. The seller or his authorized agent shall continue to have the right to request a hard copy of the specified update in person at the association's principal place of business. If the requester asks that the specified update be provided in electronic format, the association shall not require the requester to pay any fees to use the provider's electronic network or system. If the requester asks that the specified update be provided in electronic format, the requester may designate no more than two additional recipients to receive the specified update in electronic format at no additional charge. A copy of the specified update shall be provided to the seller or his authorized agent.

H. When a disclosure packet has been delivered as required by § 55.1-1809, the association shall, as to the purchaser, be bound by the statements set forth in the disclosure packet as to the status of the assessment account and the status of the lot with respect to any violation of the declaration, bylaws, rules and regulations, architectural guidelines, and articles of incorporation, if any, of the association as of the date of the statement unless the purchaser had actual knowledge that the contents of the disclosure packet were in error.

I. If the association has been requested to furnish the association disclosure packet required by this section, failure to provide the association disclosure packet substantially in the form provided in this section shall be deemed a waiver of any claim for delinquent assessments or of any violation of the declaration, bylaws, rules and regulations, or architectural guidelines existing as of the date of the request with respect to the subject lot. The association shall be liable to the seller in an amount equal to the actual damages sustained by the seller in an amount not to exceed $500. The purchaser shall nevertheless be obligated to abide by the declaration, bylaws, rules and regulations, and architectural guidelines of the association as to all matters arising after the date of the settlement of the sale.

J. No association may collect fees authorized by this section unless the association (i) is registered with the Common Interest Community Board, (ii) is current in filing the most recent annual report and fee with the Common Interest Community Board pursuant to § 55.1-1835, and (iii) is current in paying any assessment made by the Common Interest Community Board pursuant to § 54.1-2354.5.

K. An association that is not professionally managed may charge and collect fees for inspection of the property, the preparation and issuance of an association disclosure packet, and such other services as set out in § 55.1-1810, provided that the association provides the disclosure packet electronically if so requested by the requester and otherwise complies with § 55.1-1810.

2008, cc. 851, 871, § 55-509.7; 2010, c. 165; 2011, c. 334; 2018, c. 226; 2019, cc. 391, 712.

§ 55.1-1812. (Effective October 1, 2019) Properties subject to more than one declaration.

If the lot is subject to more than one declaration, the association or its common interest community manager may charge the fees authorized by § 55.1-1810 or 55.1-1811 for each of the applicable associations, provided, however, that no association shall charge inspection fees unless the association has architectural control over the lot.

2008, cc. 851, 871, § 55-509.8; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1813. (Effective October 1, 2019) Requests by settlement agents.

A. The settlement agent may request a financial update from the preparer of the disclosure packet. The preparer of the disclosure packet shall, upon request from the settlement agent, provide the settlement agent with written escrow instructions directing the amount of any funds to be paid from the settlement proceeds to the association or the common interest community manager. There shall be no fees charged for a response by the association or its common interest community manager to a request from the settlement agent for written escrow instructions. However, a fee may be charged for a financial update pursuant to this chapter.

B. The settlement agent, when transmitting funds to the association or the common interest community manager, shall, unless otherwise directed in writing, provide the preparer of the disclosure packet with (i) the complete record name of the seller, (ii) the address of the subject lot, (iii) the complete name of the purchaser, (iv) the date of settlement, and (v) a brief explanation of the application of any funds transmitted or by providing a copy of a settlement statement, unless otherwise prohibited.

2008, cc. 851, 871, § 55-509.9; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1814. (Effective October 1, 2019) Exceptions to disclosure requirements.

A. The contract disclosures required by § 55.1-1808 and the association disclosure packet required by § 55.1-1809 shall not be provided in the case of:

1. A disposition of a lot by gift;

2. A disposition of a lot pursuant to court order if the court so directs;

3. A disposition of a lot by foreclosure or deed in lieu of foreclosure;

4. A disposition of a lot by a sale at an auction, where the association disclosure packet was made available as part of an auction package for prospective purchasers prior to the auction sale; or

5. A disposition of a lot to a person or entity who is not acquiring the lot for his own residence or for the construction thereon of a dwelling unit to be occupied as his own residence, unless requested by such person or entity. If such disclosures are not requested, a statement in the contract of sale that the purchaser is not acquiring the lot for such purpose shall be conclusive and may be relied upon by the seller of the lot. The person or entity acquiring the lot shall nevertheless be obligated to abide by the declaration, bylaws, rules and regulations, and architectural guidelines of the association as to all matters.

B. In any transaction in which an association disclosure packet is required and a trustee acts as the seller in the sale or resale of a lot, the trustee shall obtain the association disclosure packet from the association and provide the packet to the purchaser.

C. In the case of an initial disposition of a lot by the declarant, the association disclosure packet required by § 55.1-1809 need not include the information referenced in subdivisions A 2, 3, 5, or 9 of § 55.1-1809, and it shall include the information referenced in subdivision A 17 of § 55.1-1809 only if the association has filed an annual report prior to the date of such disclosure packet.

2008, cc. 851, 871, § 55-509.10; 2009, c. 69; 2013, c. 357; 2019, c. 712.

Article 3. Operation and Management of Association

§ 55.1-1815. (Effective October 1, 2019) Access to association records; association meetings; notice.

A. The association shall keep detailed records of receipts and expenditures affecting the operation and administration of the association. All financial books and records shall be kept in accordance with generally accepted accounting practices.

B. Subject to the provisions of subsection C and so long as the request is for a proper purpose related to his membership in the association, all books and records kept by or on behalf of the association shall be available for examination and copying by a member in good standing or his authorized agent, including:

1. The association's membership list and addresses, which shall not be used for purposes of pecuniary gain or commercial solicitation; and

2. The actual salary of the six highest compensated employees of the association earning over $75,000 and aggregate salary information of all other employees of the association; however, individual salary information shall not be available for examination and copying during the declarant control period.

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, this right of examination shall exist without reference to the duration of membership and may be exercised (i) only during reasonable business hours or at a mutually convenient time and location and (ii) upon five business days' written notice for an association managed by a common interest community manager and 10 business days' written notice for a self-managed association, which notice reasonably identifies the purpose for the request and the specific books and records of the association requested.

C. Books and records kept by or on behalf of an association may be withheld from inspection and copying to the extent that they concern:

1. Personnel matters relating to specific, identified persons or a person's medical records;

2. Contracts, leases, and other commercial transactions to purchase or provide goods or services, currently in or under negotiation;

3. Pending or probable litigation. For purposes of this subdivision, "probable litigation" means those instances where there has been a specific threat of litigation from a person having standing to bring legal action or the legal counsel of such person;

4. Matters involving state or local administrative or other formal proceedings before a government tribunal for enforcement of the association documents or rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to § 55.1-1819;

5. Communications with legal counsel that relate to subdivisions 1 through 4 or that are protected by the attorney-client privilege or the attorney work product doctrine;

6. Disclosure of information in violation of law;

7. Meeting minutes or other confidential records of an executive session of the board of directors held in accordance with subsection C of § 55.1-1816;

8. Documentation, correspondence, or management or board reports compiled for or on behalf of the association or the board by its agents or committees for consideration by the board in executive session; or

9. Individual lot owner or member files, other than those of the requesting lot owner, including any individual lot owner's or member's files kept by or on behalf of the association.

D. Books and records kept by or on behalf of an association shall be withheld from inspection and copying in their entirety only to the extent that an exclusion from disclosure under subsection C applies to the entire content of such books and records. Otherwise, only those portions of the books and records containing information subject to an exclusion under subsection C may be withheld or redacted, and all portions of the books and records that are not so excluded shall be available for examination and copying, provided that the requesting member shall be responsible to the association for paying or reimbursing the association for any reasonable costs incurred by the association in responding to the request for the books and records and review for redaction of the same.

E. Prior to providing copies of any books and records to a member in good standing under this section, the association may impose and collect a charge, reflecting the reasonable costs of materials and labor, not to exceed the actual costs of such materials and labor. Charges may be imposed only in accordance with a cost schedule adopted by the board of directors in accordance with this subsection. The cost schedule shall (i) specify the charges for materials and labor, (ii) apply equally to all members in good standing, and (iii) be provided to such requesting member at the time the request is made.

F. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections B and C, all books and records of the association, including individual salary information for all employees and payments to independent contractors, shall be available for examination and copying upon request by a member of the board of directors in the discharge of his duties as a director.

G. Meetings of the association shall be held in accordance with the provisions of the bylaws at least once each year after the formation of the association. The bylaws shall specify an officer or his agent who shall, at least 14 days in advance of any annual or regularly scheduled meeting and at least seven days in advance of any other meeting, send to each member notice of the time, place, and purposes of such meeting. In the event of cancellation of any annual meeting of the association at which directors are elected, the seven-day notice of any subsequent meeting scheduled to elect such directors shall include a statement that the meeting is scheduled for the purpose of the election of directors.

Notice shall be sent by United States mail to all members at the address of their respective lots unless the member has provided to such officer or his agent an address other than the address of the member's lot. In lieu of sending such notice by United States mail, notice may instead be (i) hand delivered by the officer or his agent, provided that the officer or his agent certifies in writing that notice was delivered to the member, or (ii) sent to the member by electronic mail, provided that the member has elected to receive such notice by electronic mail and, in the event that such electronic mail is returned as undeliverable, notice is subsequently sent by United States mail. Except as provided in subdivision C 7, draft minutes of the board of directors shall be open for inspection and copying (a) within 60 days from the conclusion of the meeting to which such minutes appertain or (b) when such minutes are distributed to board members as part of an agenda package for the next meeting of the board of directors, whichever occurs first.

1989, c. 679, § 55-510; 1991, c. 667; 1992, cc. 69, 71; 1993, cc. 365, 827; 1999, cc. 594, 654, 1029; 2000, cc. 905, 1008; 2001, c. 419; 2003, c. 442; 2004, c. 193; 2007, c. 675; 2008, cc. 851, 871; 2009, c. 665; 2011, c. 361; 2013, c. 275; 2014, c. 207; 2018, c. 663; 2019, cc. 368, 712.

§ 55.1-1816. (Effective October 1, 2019) Meetings of the board of directors.

A. All meetings of the board of directors, including any subcommittee or other committee of the board of directors, where the business of the association is discussed or transacted shall be open to all members of record. The board of directors shall not use work sessions or other informal gatherings of the board of directors to circumvent the open meeting requirements of this section. Minutes of the meetings of the board of directors shall be recorded and shall be available as provided in subsection B of § 55.1-1815.

B. Notice of the time, date, and place of each meeting of the board of directors or of any subcommittee or other committee of the board of directors shall be published where it is reasonably calculated to be available to a majority of the lot owners.

A lot owner may make a request to be notified on a continual basis of any such meetings. Such request shall be made at least once a year in writing and include the lot owner's name, address, zip code, and any email address as appropriate. Notice of the time, date, and place shall be sent to any lot owner requesting notice (i) by first-class mail or email in the case of meetings of the board of directors or (ii) by email in the case of meetings of any subcommittee or other committee of the board of directors.

Notice, reasonable under the circumstances, of special or emergency meetings shall be given contemporaneously with the notice provided to members of the association's board of directors or any subcommittee or other committee of the board of directors conducting the meeting.

Unless otherwise exempt as relating to an executive session pursuant to subsection C, at least one copy of all agenda packets and materials furnished to members of an association's board of directors or subcommittee or other committee of the board of directors for a meeting shall be made available for inspection by the membership of the association at the same time such documents are furnished to the members of the board of directors or any subcommittee or committee of the board of directors.

Any member may record any portion of a meeting that is required to be open. The board of directors or subcommittee or other committee of the board of directors conducting the meeting may adopt rules (a) governing the placement and use of equipment necessary for recording a meeting to prevent interference with the proceedings and (b) requiring the member recording the meeting to provide notice that the meeting is being recorded.

If a meeting is conducted by telephone conference or video conference or similar electronic means, at least two members of the board of directors shall be physically present at the meeting place included in the notice. The audio equipment shall be sufficient for any member in attendance to hear what is said by any member of the board of directors participating in the meeting who is not physically present.

Except for the election of officers, voting by secret or written ballot in an open meeting shall be a violation of this chapter.

C. The board of directors or any subcommittee or other committee of the board of directors may (i) convene in executive session to consider personnel matters; (ii) consult with legal counsel; (iii) discuss and consider contracts, pending or probable litigation, and matters involving violations of the declaration or rules and regulations adopted pursuant to such declaration for which a member or his family members, tenants, guests, or other invitees are responsible; or (iv) discuss and consider the personal liability of members to the association, upon the affirmative vote in an open meeting to assemble in executive session. The motion shall state specifically the purpose for the executive session. Reference to the motion and the stated purpose for the executive session shall be included in the minutes. The board of directors shall restrict the consideration of matters during such portions of meetings to only those purposes specifically exempted and stated in the motion. No contract, motion, or other action adopted, passed, or agreed to in executive session shall become effective unless the board of directors or subcommittee or other committee of the board of directors, following the executive session, reconvenes in open meeting and takes a vote on such contract, motion, or other action, which shall have its substance reasonably identified in the open meeting. The requirements of this section shall not require the disclosure of information in violation of law.

D. Subject to reasonable rules adopted by the board of directors, the board of directors shall provide a designated period of time during a meeting to allow members an opportunity to comment on any matter relating to the association. During a meeting at which the agenda is limited to specific topics or at a special meeting, the board of directors may limit the comments of members to the topics listed on the meeting agenda.

1999, c. 1029, § 55-510.1; 2000, c. 905; 2001, c. 715; 2003, c. 404; 2004, c. 333; 2005, c. 353; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1817. (Effective October 1, 2019) Distribution of information by members.

The board of directors shall establish a reasonable, effective, and free method, appropriate to the size and nature of the association, for lot owners to communicate among themselves and with the board of directors regarding any matter concerning the association.

2001, c. 715, § 55-510.2; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1818. (Effective October 1, 2019) Common areas; notice of pesticide application.

The association shall post notice of all pesticide applications in or upon the common areas. Such notice shall consist of conspicuous signs placed in or upon the common areas where the pesticide will be applied at least 48 hours prior to the application.

2011, c. 264, § 55-510.3; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1819. (Effective October 1, 2019) Adoption and enforcement of rules.

A. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the board of directors shall have the power to establish, adopt, and enforce rules and regulations with respect to use of the common areas and with respect to such other areas of responsibility assigned to the association by the declaration, except where expressly reserved by the declaration to the members. Rules and regulations may be adopted by resolution and shall be reasonably published or distributed throughout the development. A majority of votes cast, in person or by proxy, at a meeting convened in accordance with the provisions of the association's bylaws and called for that purpose shall repeal or amend any rule or regulation adopted by the board of directors. Rules and regulations may be enforced by any method normally available to the owner of private property in Virginia, including application for injunctive relief or actual damages, during which the court may award to the prevailing party court costs and reasonable attorney fees.

B. The board of directors shall also have the power, to the extent the declaration or rules and regulations duly adopted pursuant to such declaration expressly so provide, to (i) suspend a member's right to use facilities or services, including utility services, provided directly through the association for nonpayment of assessments that are more than 60 days past due, to the extent that access to the lot through the common areas is not precluded and provided that such suspension shall not endanger the health, safety, or property of any owner, tenant, or occupant, and (ii) assess charges against any member for any violation of the declaration or rules and regulations for which the member or his family members, tenants, guests, or other invitees are responsible.

C. Before any action authorized in this section is taken, the member shall be given a reasonable opportunity to correct the alleged violation after written notice of the alleged violation to the member at the address required for notices of meetings pursuant to § 55.1-1815. If the violation remains uncorrected, the member shall be given an opportunity to be heard and to be represented by counsel before the board of directors or other tribunal specified in the documents.

Notice of a hearing, including the actions that may be taken by the association in accordance with this section, shall be hand delivered or mailed by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the member at the address of record with the association at least 14 days prior to the hearing. Within seven days of the hearing, the hearing result shall be hand delivered or mailed by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the member at the address of record with the association.

D. The amount of any charges so assessed shall not be limited to the expense or damage to the association caused by the violation, but shall not exceed $50 for a single offense or $10 per day for any offense of a continuing nature, and shall be treated as an assessment against the member's lot for the purposes of § 55.1-1833. However, the total charges for any offense of a continuing nature shall not be assessed for a period exceeding 90 days.

E. The board of directors may file or defend legal action in general district or circuit court that seeks relief, including injunctive relief arising from any violation of the declaration or duly adopted rules and regulations.

F. After the date an action is filed in the general district or circuit court by (i) the association, by and through its counsel, to collect the charges or obtain injunctive relief and correct the violation or (ii) the lot owner challenging any such charges, no additional charges shall accrue. If the court rules in favor of the association, the association shall be entitled to collect such charges from the date the action was filed as well as all other charges assessed pursuant to this section against the lot owner prior to the action. In addition, if the court finds that the violation remains uncorrected, the court may order the lot owner to abate or remedy the violation.

G. In any action filed in general district court pursuant to this section, the court may enter default judgment against the lot owner on the association's sworn affidavit.

1989, c. 679, § 55-513; 1991, c. 667; 1993, c. 956; 1994, c. 368; 1997, cc. 173, 417; 2000, cc. 846, 905; 2002, c. 509; 2008, cc. 851, 871; 2011, cc. 372, 378; 2014, c. 784; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1820. (Effective October 1, 2019) Display of the flag of the United States; necessary supporting structures; affirmative defense.

A. In accordance with the federal Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-243), no association shall prohibit any lot owner from displaying upon property to which the lot owner has a separate ownership interest or a right to exclusive possession or use the flag of the United States whenever such display is in compliance with Chapter 1 of Title 4 of the United States Code (4 U.S.C. § 1 et seq.), or any rule or custom pertaining to the proper display of the flag. The association may, however, establish reasonable restrictions as to the size, place, duration, and manner of placement or display of the flag on such property, provided that such restrictions are necessary to protect a substantial interest of the association.

B. The association may restrict the display of such flag in the common areas.

C. In any action brought by the association under § 55.1-1819 for violation of a flag restriction, the association shall bear the burden of proof that the restrictions as to the size, place, duration, and manner of placement or display of such flag are necessary to protect a substantial interest of the association.

D. In any action brought by the association under § 55.1-1819, the lot owner shall be entitled to assert as an affirmative defense that the required disclosure of any limitations pertaining to the display of flags or any flagpole or similar structure necessary to display such flags was not contained in the disclosure packet required pursuant to § 55.1-1809.

2000, c. 891, § 55-513.1; 2007, cc. 854, 910; 2008, cc. 851, 871; 2010, cc. 166, 453; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1821. (Effective October 1, 2019) Home-based businesses permitted; compliance with local ordinances.

A. Except to the extent that the declaration provides otherwise, no association shall prohibit any lot owner from operating a home-based business within his personal residence. The association may, however, establish (i) reasonable restrictions as to the time, place, and manner of the operation of a home-based business and (ii) reasonable restrictions as to the size, place, duration, and manner of the placement or display of any signs on the owner's lot related to such home-based business. Any home-based business shall comply with all applicable local ordinances.

B. If a development is located in a locality that classifies home-based child care services as an accessory or ancillary residential use under the locality's zoning ordinance, the provision of home-based child care services in a personal residence shall be deemed a residential use unless expressly (i) prohibited or restricted by the declaration or (ii) restricted by the association's bylaws or rules as provided in subsection A.

2013, c. 310, § 55-513.2; 2019, cc. 2, 30, 712.

§ 55.1-1822. (Effective October 1, 2019) Use of for sale signs in connection with sale.

Except as expressly authorized in this chapter or in the declaration or as otherwise provided by law, no property owners' association shall require the use of any for sale sign that is (i) an association sign or (ii) a real estate sign that does not comply with the requirements of the Virginia Real Estate Board. An association may, however, prohibit the placement of signs in the common area and establish reasonable rules and regulations that regulate (a) the number of real estate signs to be located on real property upon which the owner has a separate ownership interest or a right of exclusive possession, so long as at least one real estate sign is permitted; (b) the geographical location of real estate signs on real property in which the owner has a separate ownership interest or a right of exclusive possession, so long as the location of the real estate signs complies with the requirements of the Virginia Real Estate Board; (c) the manner in which real estate signs are affixed to real property; and (d) the period of time after settlement when the real estate signs on such real property shall be removed.

2008, cc. 851, 871, § 55-509.4; 2010, c. 165; 2014, c. 216; 2016, c. 471; 2017, cc. 387, 405; 2018, c. 226; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1823. (Effective October 1, 2019) Designation of authorized representative.

Except as expressly authorized in this chapter or in the declaration or as otherwise provided by law, no property owners' association shall require any lot owner to execute a formal power of attorney if the lot owner designates a person licensed under the provisions of § 54.1-2106.1 as the lot owner's authorized representative, and the association shall recognize such representation without a formal power of attorney, provided that the association is given a written authorization signed by the lot owner designating such representative. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the requirements of § 13.1-849 of the Virginia Nonstock Corporation Act (§ 13.1-801 et seq.) and the association's declaration, bylaws, and articles of incorporation shall be satisfied before any such representative may exercise a vote on behalf of a lot owner as a proxy.

2008, cc. 851, 871, § 55-509.4; 2010, c. 165; 2014, c. 216; 2016, c. 471; 2017, cc. 387, 405; 2018, c. 226; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1824. (Effective October 1, 2019) Assessments; late fees.

Except to the extent that the declaration or any rules or regulations promulgated pursuant to such declaration provide otherwise, the board may impose a late fee that does not exceed the penalty provided in § 58.1-3915 for any assessment or installment that is not paid within 60 days of the due date for payment of such assessment.

2013, c. 256, § 55-513.3; 2014, c. 239; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1825. (Effective October 1, 2019) Authority to levy special assessments.

A. In addition to all other assessments that are authorized in the declaration, the board of directors shall have the power to levy a special assessment against its members if (i) the purpose in so doing is found by the board to be in the best interests of the association and (ii) the proceeds of the assessment are used primarily for the maintenance and upkeep of the common area and such other areas of association responsibility expressly provided for in the declaration, including capital expenditures. A majority of votes cast, in person or by proxy, at a meeting of the membership convened in accordance with the provisions of the association's bylaws within 60 days of promulgation of the notice of the assessment shall rescind or reduce the special assessment. No director or officer of the association shall be liable for failure to perform his fiduciary duty if a special assessment for the funds necessary for the director or officer to perform his fiduciary duty is rescinded by the owners pursuant to this section, and the association shall indemnify such director or officer against any damage resulting from any such claimed breach of fiduciary duty.

B. The failure of a member to pay the special assessment allowed by subsection A shall entitle the association to the lien provided by § 55.1-1833 as well as any other rights afforded a creditor under law.

C. The failure of a member to pay the special assessment allowed by subsection A will provide the association with the right to deny the member access to any or all of the common areas. However, the member shall not be denied direct access to the member's lot over any road within the development that is a common area.

1989, c. 679, § 55-514; 1991, c. 667; 1992, c. 450; 1998, cc. 32, 751; 2008, cc. 851, 871; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1826. (Effective October 1, 2019) Annual budget; reserves for capital components.

A. Except to the extent provided in the declaration, the board of directors shall, prior to the commencement of the fiscal year, make available to lot owners either (i) the annual budget of the association or (ii) a summary of such annual budget.

B. Except to the extent otherwise provided in the declaration and unless the declaration imposes more stringent requirements, the board of directors shall:

1. Conduct at least once every five years a study to determine the necessity and amount of reserves required to repair, replace, and restore the capital components as defined in § 55.1-1800;

2. Review the results of that study at least annually to determine if reserves are sufficient; and

3. Make any adjustments the board of directors deems necessary to maintain reserves, as appropriate.

C. To the extent that the reserve study conducted in accordance with this section indicates a need to budget for reserves, the association budget shall include:

1. The current estimated replacement cost, estimated remaining life, and estimated useful life of the capital components defined in § 55.1-1800;

2. As of the beginning of the fiscal year for which the budget is prepared, the current amount of accumulated cash reserves set aside to repair, replace, or restore capital components and the amount of the expected contribution to the reserve fund for that year;

3. A statement describing the procedures used for estimation and accumulation of cash reserves pursuant to this section; and

4. A statement of the amount of reserves recommended in the study and the amount of current cash for replacement reserves.

2002, c. 459, § 55-514.1; 2019, cc. 33, 44, 712.

§ 55.1-1827. (Effective October 1, 2019) Deposit of funds; fidelity bond.

A. All funds deposited with a managing agent shall be handled in a fiduciary capacity and shall be kept in a fiduciary trust account in a federally insured financial institution separate from other assets of the managing agent. The funds shall be the property of the association and shall be segregated for each account in the managing agent's records in a manner that permits the funds to be identified on an individual association basis.

B. Any association collecting assessments for common expenses shall obtain and maintain a blanket fidelity bond or employee dishonesty insurance policy insuring the association against losses resulting from theft or dishonesty committed by the officers, directors, or persons employed by the association or committed by any managing agent or employees of the managing agent. Such bond or insurance policy shall provide coverage in an amount equal to the lesser of $1 million or the amount of the reserve balances of the association plus one-fourth of the aggregate annual assessment income of such association. The minimum coverage amount shall be $10,000. The board of directors or managing agent may obtain such bond or insurance on behalf of the association.

2007, cc. 696, 712, § 55-514.2; 2008, cc. 851, 871; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1828. (Effective October 1, 2019) Compliance with declaration.

A. Every lot owner, and all those entitled to occupy a lot, shall comply with all lawful provisions of this chapter and all provisions of the declaration. Any lack of such compliance shall be grounds for an action to recover sums due, for damages or injunctive relief, or for any other remedy available at law or in equity, maintainable by the association or by its board of directors or any managing agent on behalf of such association or, in any proper case, by one or more aggrieved lot owners on their own behalf or as a class action. Except as provided in subsection B, the prevailing party shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorney fees, costs expended in the matter, and interest on the judgment as provided in § 8.01-382. This section shall not preclude an action against the association and authorizes the recovery by the prevailing party in any such action of reasonable attorney fees, costs expended in the matter, and interest on the judgment as provided in § 8.01-382 in such actions.

B. In actions against a lot owner for nonpayment of assessments in which the lot owner has failed to pay assessments levied by the association on more than one lot or in which such lot owner has had legal actions taken against him for nonpayment of any prior assessment, and the prevailing party is the association or its board of directors or any managing agent on behalf of the association, the prevailing party shall be awarded reasonable attorney fees, costs expended in the matter, and interest on the judgment as provided in subsection A, even if the proceeding is settled prior to judgment. The delinquent owner shall be personally responsible for reasonable attorney fees and costs expended in the matter by the association, whether any judicial proceedings are filed.

C. A declaration may provide for arbitration of disputes or other means of alternative dispute resolution. Any such arbitration held in accordance with this subsection shall be consistent with the provisions of this chapter and Chapter 21 (§ 8.01-577 et seq.) of Title 8.01. The place of any such arbitration or alternative dispute resolution shall be in the county or city in which the development is located, or as mutually agreed to by the parties.

1989, c. 679, § 55-515; 1993, c. 956; 2012, c. 758; 2014, c. 569; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1829. (Effective October 1, 2019) Amendment to declaration and bylaws; consent of mortgagee.

A. In the event that any provision in the declaration requires the written consent of a mortgagee in order to amend the bylaws or the declaration, the association shall be deemed to have received the written consent of a mortgagee if the association sends the text of the proposed amendment by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by regular mail with proof of mailing to the mortgagee at the address supplied by such mortgagee in a written request to the association to receive notice of proposed amendments to the declaration and receives no written objection to the adoption of the amendment from the mortgagee within 60 days of the date that the notice of amendment is sent by the association, unless the declaration expressly provides otherwise. If the mortgagee has not supplied an address to the association, the association shall be deemed to have received the written consent of a mortgagee if the association sends the text of the proposed amendment by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the mortgagee at the address filed in the land records or with the local tax assessor's office and receives no written objection to the adoption of the amendment from the mortgagee within 60 days of the date that the notice of amendment is sent by the association, unless the declaration expressly provides otherwise.

B. Subsection A shall not apply to amendments that alter the priority of the lien of the mortgagee or that materially impair or affect a lot as collateral or the right of the mortgagee to foreclose on a lot as collateral.

C. Where the declaration is silent on the need for mortgagee consent, no mortgagee consent shall be required if the amendment to the declaration does not specifically affect mortgagee rights.

D. Except as otherwise provided in the declaration, a declaration may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the lot owners.

E. An action to challenge the validity of an amendment adopted by the association may not be brought more than one year after the amendment is effective.

F. Agreement of the required majority of lot owners to any amendment of the declaration adopted pursuant to subsection D shall be evidenced by their execution of the amendment, or ratifications of such amendment, and the same shall become effective when a copy of the amendment is recorded together with a certification, signed by the principal officer of the association or by such other officer or officers as the declaration may specify, that the requisite majority of the lot owners signed the amendment or ratifications of such amendment.

G. Subsections D and F shall not be construed to affect the validity of any amendment recorded prior to July 1, 2017.

1997, c. 887, § 55-515.1; 1998, c. 32; 1999, c. 805; 2003, cc. 59, 74; 2017, c. 374; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1830. (Effective October 1, 2019) Validity of declaration; corrective amendments.

A. All provisions of a declaration shall be deemed severable, and any unlawful provision of the declaration shall be void.

B. No provision of a declaration shall be deemed void by reason of the rule against perpetuities.

C. No restraint on alienation shall discriminate or be used to discriminate on any basis prohibited under the Virginia Fair Housing Law (§ 36-96.1 et seq.).

D. Subject to the provisions of subsection C, the rule of property law known as the rule restricting unreasonable restraints on alienation shall not be applied to defeat any provision of a declaration restraining the alienation of lots other than such lots as may be restricted to residential use only.

E. The rule of property law known as the doctrine of merger shall not apply to any easement included in or granted pursuant to a right reserved in a declaration.

F. The declarant may unilaterally execute and record a corrective amendment or supplement to the declaration to correct a mathematical mistake, an inconsistency, or a scrivener's error or clarify an ambiguity in the declaration with respect to an objectively verifiable fact, including recalculating the liability for assessments or the number of votes in the association appertaining to a lot, within five years after the recordation of the declaration containing or creating such mistake, inconsistency, error, or ambiguity. No such amendment or supplement may materially reduce what the obligations of the declarant would have been if the mistake, inconsistency, error, or ambiguity had not occurred. Regardless of the date of recordation of the declaration, the principal officer of the association may also unilaterally execute and record such a corrective amendment or supplement upon a vote of two-thirds of the members of the board of directors. All corrective amendments and supplements recorded prior to July 1, 1997, are hereby validated to the extent that such corrective amendments and supplements would have been permitted by this subsection.

1998, c. 32, § 55-515.2; 2001, c. 271; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1831. (Effective October 1, 2019) Reformation of declaration; judicial procedure.

A. An association may petition the circuit court in the county or city in which the development or the greater part of the development is located to reform a declaration where the association, acting through its board of directors, has attempted to amend the declaration regarding ownership of legal title of the common areas or real property using provisions outlined in such declaration to resolve (i) ambiguities or inconsistencies in the declaration that are the source of legal and other disputes pertaining to the legal rights and responsibilities of the association or individual lot owners or (ii) scrivener's errors, including incorrectly identifying the association, incorrectly identifying an entity other than the association, or errors arising from oversight or from an inadvertent omission or mathematical mistake.

B. The court shall have jurisdiction over matters set forth in subsection A regarding ownership of legal title of the common areas or real property to:

1. Reform, in whole or in part, any provision of a declaration; and

2. Correct any mistake or other error in the declaration that may exist with respect to the declaration for any other purpose.

C. A petition filed by the association with the court setting forth any inconsistency or error made in the declaration, or the necessity for any change in the declaration, shall be deemed sufficient basis for the reformation, in whole or in part, of the declaration, provided that:

1. The association has made three good faith attempts to convene a duly called meeting of the association to present for consideration amendments to the declaration for the reasons specified in subsection A, which attempts have proven unsuccessful as evidenced by an affidavit verified by oath of the principal officer of the association;

2. There is no adequate remedy at law as practical and effective to attain the ends of justice as may be accomplished in the circuit court;

3. Where the declarant of the development still owns a lot or other property in the development, the declarant joins in the petition of the association;

4. A copy of the petition is sent to all owners at least 30 days before the petition is filed as evidenced by an affidavit verified by oath of the principal officer of the association; and

5. A copy of the petition is sent to all mortgagees at least 30 days before the petition is filed as evidenced by an affidavit verified by oath of the principal officer of the association.

D. Any mortgagee of a lot in the development shall have standing to participate in the reformation proceedings before the court. No reformation pursuant to this section shall affect mortgagee rights, alter the priority of the lien of any mortgage, materially impair or affect any lot as collateral for a mortgage, or affect a mortgagee's right to foreclose on a lot as collateral without the prior written consent of the mortgagee. Consent of a mortgagee required by this section may be deemed received pursuant to § 55.1-1829.

2014, c. 659, § 55-515.2:1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1832. (Effective October 1, 2019) Use of technology.

A. Unless the declaration expressly provides otherwise, (i) any notice required to be sent or received or (ii) any signature, vote, consent, or approval required to be obtained under any declaration or bylaw provision or any provision of this chapter may be accomplished using electronic means.

B. The association, the lot owners, and those entitled to occupy a lot may perform any obligation or exercise any right under any declaration or bylaw provision or any provision of this chapter by use of electronic means.

C. An electronic signature meeting the requirements of applicable law shall satisfy any requirement for a signature under any declaration or bylaw provision or any provision of this chapter.

D. Voting on, consent to, and approval of any matter under any declaration or bylaw provision or any provision of this chapter may be accomplished by electronic means, provided that a record is created as evidence of such vote, consent, or approval and maintained as long as such record would be required to be maintained in nonelectronic form.

E. Subject to other provisions of law, no action required or permitted by any declaration or bylaw provision or any provision of this chapter need be acknowledged before a notary public if the identity and signature of such person can otherwise be authenticated to the satisfaction of the executive board.

F. If any person does not have the capability or desire to conduct business using electronic means, the association shall make reasonable accommodation, at its expense, for such person to conduct business with the association without use of such electronic means.

G. This section shall not apply to any notice related to an enforcement action by the association, an assessment lien, or foreclosure proceedings in enforcement of an assessment lien.

2010, c. 432, § 55-515.3; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1833. (Effective October 1, 2019) Lien for assessments.

A. The association shall have a lien, once perfected, on every lot for unpaid assessments levied against that lot in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and all lawful provisions of the declaration. The lien, once perfected, shall be prior to all other subsequent liens and encumbrances except (i) real estate tax liens on that lot, (ii) liens and encumbrances recorded prior to the recordation of the declaration, and (iii) sums unpaid on and owing under any mortgage or deed of trust recorded prior to the perfection of such lien. The provisions of this subsection shall not affect the priority of mechanics' and materialmen's liens. Notice of a memorandum of lien to a holder of a credit line deed of trust under § 55.1-318 shall be given in the same fashion as if the association's lien were a judgment.

B. The association, in order to perfect the lien given by this section, shall file, before the expiration of 12 months from the time the first such assessment became due and payable in the clerk's office of the circuit court in the county or city in which such development is situated, a memorandum, verified by the oath of the principal officer of the association or such other officer or officers as the declaration may specify, which contains the following:

1. The name of the development;

2. A description of the lot;

3. The name or names of the persons constituting the owners of that lot;

4. The amount of unpaid assessments currently due or past due relative to such lot together with the date when each fell due;

5. The date of issuance of the memorandum;

6. The name of the association and the name and current address of the person to contact to arrange for payment or release of the lien; and

7. A statement that the association is obtaining a lien in accordance with the provisions of the Property Owners' Association Act as set forth in Chapter 18 (§ 55.1-1800 et seq.) of Title 55.1.

It shall be the duty of the clerk in whose office such memorandum is filed as provided in this section to record and index the same as provided in subsection D, in the names of the persons identified in such memorandum as well as in the name of the association. The cost of recording and releasing the memorandum shall be taxed against the person found liable in any judgment or order enforcing such lien.

C. Prior to filing a memorandum of lien, a written notice shall be sent to the property owner by certified mail, at the property owner's last known address, informing the property owner that a memorandum of lien will be filed in the circuit court clerk's office of the applicable county or city. The notice shall be sent at least 10 days before the actual filing date of the memorandum of lien.

D. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section or any other provision of law requiring documents to be recorded in the miscellaneous lien books or the deed books in the clerk's office of any court, on or after July 1, 1989, all memoranda of liens arising under this section shall be recorded in the deed books in the clerk's office. Any memorandum shall be indexed in the general index to deeds, and the general index shall identify the lien as a lien for lot assessments.

E. No action to enforce any lien perfected under subsection B shall be brought or action to foreclose any lien perfected under subsection I shall be initiated after 36 months from the time when the memorandum of lien was recorded; however, the filing of a petition to enforce any such lien in any action in which the petition may be properly filed shall be regarded as the institution of an action under this section. Nothing in this subsection shall extend the time within which any such lien may be perfected.

F. The judgment or order in an action brought pursuant to this section shall include reimbursement for costs and reasonable attorney fees of the prevailing party. If the association prevails, it may also recover interest at the legal rate for the sums secured by the lien from the time each such sum became due and payable.

G. When payment or satisfaction is made of a debt secured by the lien perfected by subsection B, the lien shall be released in accordance with the provisions of § 55.1-339. Any lien that is not so released shall subject the lien creditor to the penalty set forth in subdivision B 1 of § 55.1-339. For the purposes of § 55.1-339, the principal officer of the association, or any other officer or officers as the declaration may specify, shall be deemed the duly authorized agent of the lien creditor.

H. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit actions at law to recover sums for which subsection A creates a lien, maintainable pursuant to § 55.1-1828.

I. At any time after perfecting the lien pursuant to this section, the property owners' association may sell the lot at public sale, subject to prior liens. For purposes of this section, the association shall have the power both to sell and convey the lot and shall be deemed the lot owner's statutory agent for the purpose of transferring title to the lot. A nonjudicial foreclosure sale shall be conducted in compliance with the following:

1. The association shall give notice to the lot owner prior to advertisement required by subdivision 4. The notice shall specify (i) the debt secured by the perfected lien; (ii) the action required to satisfy the debt secured by the perfected lien; (iii) the date, not less than 60 days from the date the notice is given to the lot owner, by which the debt secured by the lien must be satisfied; and (iv) that failure to satisfy the debt secured by the lien on or before the date specified in the notice may result in the sale of the lot. The notice shall further inform the lot owner of the right to bring a court action in the circuit court of the county or city where the lot is located to assert the nonexistence of a debt or any other defense of the lot owner to the sale.

2. After expiration of the 60-day notice period specified in subdivision 1, the association may appoint a trustee to conduct the sale. The appointment of the trustee shall be filed in the clerk's office of the circuit court in the county or city in which such development is situated. It shall be the duty of the clerk in whose office such appointment is filed to record and index the same as provided in subsection D, in the names of the persons identified in such appointment as well as in the name of the association. The association, at its option, may from time to time remove the trustee and appoint a successor trustee.

3. If the lot owner meets the conditions specified in this subdivision prior to the date of the foreclosure sale, the lot owner shall have the right to have enforcement of the perfected lien discontinued prior to the sale of the lot. Those conditions are that the lot owner (i) satisfy the debt secured by lien that is the subject of the nonjudicial foreclosure sale and (ii) pay all expenses and costs incurred in perfecting and enforcing the lien, including advertising costs and reasonable attorney fees.

4. In addition to the advertisement required by subdivision 5, the association shall give written notice of the time, date, and place of any proposed sale in execution of the lien, including the name, address, and telephone number of the trustee, by hand delivery or by mail to (i) the present owner of the property to be sold at his last known address as such owner and address appear in the records of the association, (ii) any lienholder who holds a note against the property secured by a deed of trust recorded at least 30 days prior to the proposed sale and whose address is recorded with the deed of trust, and (iii) any assignee of such a note secured by a deed of trust, provided that the assignment and address of the assignee are likewise recorded at least 30 days prior to the proposed sale. Mailing a copy of the advertisement or the notice containing the same information to the owner by certified or registered mail no less than 14 days prior to such sale and to lienholders and their assigns, at the addresses noted in the memorandum of lien, by United States mail, postage prepaid, no less than 14 days prior to such sale, shall be a sufficient compliance with the requirement of notice.

5. The advertisement of sale by the association shall be in a newspaper having a general circulation in the county or city in which the property to be sold, or any portion of such property, is located pursuant to the following provisions:

a. The association shall advertise once a week for four successive weeks; however, if the property or some portion of such property is located in a city or in a county immediately contiguous to a city, publication of the advertisement on five different days, which may be consecutive days, shall be deemed adequate. The sale shall be held on any day following the day of the last advertisement that is no earlier than eight days following the first advertisement nor more than 30 days following the last advertisement.

b. Such advertisement shall be placed in that section of the newspaper where legal notices appear or where the type of property being sold is generally advertised for sale. The advertisement of sale, in addition to such other matters as the association finds appropriate, shall set forth a description of the property to be sold, which description need not be as extensive as that contained in the deed of trust but shall identify the property by street address, if any, or, if none, shall give the general location of the property with reference to streets, routes, or known landmarks. Where available, tax map identification may be used but is not required. The advertisement shall also include the date, time, place, and terms of sale and the name of the association. It shall set forth the name, address, and telephone number of the representative, agent, or attorney who may be able to respond to inquiries concerning the sale.

c. In addition to the advertisement required by subdivisions a and b, the association may further advertise as the association finds appropriate.

6. In the event of postponement of sale, which postponement shall be at the discretion of the association, advertisement of such postponed sale shall be in the same manner as the original advertisement of sale.

7. Failure to comply with the requirements for advertisement contained in this section shall, upon petition, render a sale of the property voidable by the court.

8. The association shall have the following powers and duties upon a sale:

a. Written one-price bids may be made and shall be received by the trustee from the association or any person for entry by announcement at the sale. Any person other than the trustee may bid at the foreclosure sale, including a person who has submitted a written one-price bid. Upon request to the trustee, any other bidder in attendance at a foreclosure sale shall be permitted to inspect written bids. Unless otherwise provided in the declaration, the association may bid to purchase the lot at a foreclosure sale. The association may own, lease, encumber, exchange, sell, or convey the lot. Whenever the written bid of the association is the highest bid submitted at the sale, such written bid shall be filed by the trustee with his account of sale required under subdivision I 10 and § 64.2-1309. The written bid submitted pursuant to this subsection may be prepared by the association, its agent, or its attorney.

b. The association may require any bidder at any sale to post a cash deposit of as much as 10 percent of the sale price before his bid is received, which shall be refunded to him if the property is not sold to him. The deposit of the successful bidder shall be applied to his credit at settlement, or, if such bidder fails to complete his purchase promptly, the deposit shall be applied to pay the costs and expenses of the sale, and the balance, if any, shall be retained by the association in connection with that sale.

c. The property owners' association shall receive and receipt for the proceeds of sale, no purchaser being required to see to the application of the proceeds, and apply the same in the following order: first, to the reasonable expenses of sale, including attorney fees; second, to the satisfaction of all taxes, levies, and assessments, with costs and interest; third, to the satisfaction of the lien for the owners' assessments; fourth, to the satisfaction in the order of priority of any remaining inferior claims of record; and fifth, to pay the residue of the proceeds to the owner or his assigns, provided, however, that, as to the payment of such residue, the association shall not be bound by any inheritance, devise, conveyance, assignment, or lien of or upon the owner's equity, without actual notice thereof prior to distribution.

9. The trustee shall deliver to the purchaser a trustee's deed conveying the lot with special warranty of title. The trustee shall not be required to take possession of the property prior to the sale of such property or to deliver possession of the lot to the purchaser at the sale.

10. The trustee shall file an accounting of the sale with the commissioner of accounts pursuant to § 64.2-1309, and every account of a sale shall be recorded pursuant to § 64.2-1310. In addition, the accounting shall be made available for inspection and copying pursuant to § 55.1-1815 upon the written request of the prior lot owner, the current lot owner, or any holder of a recorded lien against the lot at the time of the sale. The association shall maintain a copy of the accounting for at least 12 months following the foreclosure sale.

11. If the sale of a lot is made pursuant to subsection I and the accounting is made by the trustee, the title of the purchaser at such sale shall not be disturbed unless within 12 months from the confirmation of the accounting by the commissioner of accounts the sale is set aside by the court or an appeal is allowed by the Supreme Court of Virginia and an order is entered requiring such sale to be set aside.

1989, c. 679, § 55-516; 1991, c. 667; 1997, cc. 760, 766; 2000, c. 905; 2004, cc. 778, 779, 786; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1834. (Effective October 1, 2019) Notice of sale under deed of trust.

In accordance with the provisions of § 15.2-979, the association shall be given notice whenever a lot becomes subject to a sale under a deed of trust. Upon receipt of such notice, the board of directors, on behalf of the association, shall exercise whatever due diligence it deems necessary with respect to the lot subject to a sale under a deed of trust to protect the interests of the association.

2015, cc. 93, 410, § 55-516.01; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1835. (Effective October 1, 2019) Annual report by association.

The association shall file an annual report in a form and at such time as prescribed by regulations of the Common Interest Community Board. The annual report shall be accompanied by a fee in an amount established by the Board, which shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Common Interest Community Management Information Fund established pursuant to § 54.1-2354.2.

1993, c. 958, § 55-516.1; 2008, cc. 851, 871; 2009, c. 557; 2012, cc. 481, 797; 2019, cc. 391, 712.

§ 55.1-1836. (Effective October 1, 2019) Condemnation of common area; procedure.

When any portion of the common area is taken or damaged under the power of eminent domain, any award or payment for such portion shall be paid to the association, which shall be a party in interest in the condemnation proceeding. The common area that is affected shall be valued on the basis of the common area's highest and best use as though it were free from restriction to sole use as a common area.

Except to the extent that the declaration or any rules and regulations duly adopted pursuant to such declaration otherwise provide, the board of directors shall have the authority to negotiate with the condemning authority, agree to an award or payment amount with the condemning authority without instituting condemnation proceedings, and, upon such agreement, convey the subject common area to the condemning authority. Thereafter, the president of the association may unilaterally execute and record the deed of conveyance to the condemning authority.

A member of the association, by virtue of his membership, shall be estopped from contesting the action of the association in any proceeding held pursuant to this section.

1995, c. 377, § 55-516.2; 1998, c. 32; 2016, c. 719; 2019, c. 712.

Chapter 19. Virginia Condominium Act.

Article 1. General Provisions

§ 55.1-1900. (Effective October 1, 2019) Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Capital components" means those items, whether or not a part of the common elements, for which the unit owners' association has the obligation for repair, replacement, or restoration and for which the executive board determines funding is necessary.

"Common elements" means all portions of the condominium other than the units.

"Common expenses" means all expenditures lawfully made or incurred by or on behalf of the unit owners' association, together with all funds lawfully assessed for the creation or maintenance of reserves pursuant to the provisions of the condominium instruments.

"Common interest community manager" means the same as that term is defined in § 54.1-2345.

"Condominium" means real property, and any incidents to or interests in such real property, lawfully subject to this chapter by the recordation of condominium instruments pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. No project shall be deemed a condominium within the meaning of this chapter unless the undivided interests in the common elements are vested in the unit owners.

"Condominium instruments" means, collectively, the declaration, bylaws, and plats and plans recorded pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. Any exhibit, schedule, or certification recorded with a condominium instrument shall be deemed an integral part of that condominium instrument. Once recorded, any amendment or certification of any condominium instrument shall be deemed an integral part of the affected condominium instrument if such amendment or certification was made in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

"Condominium unit" means a unit together with the undivided interest in the common elements appertaining to that unit.

"Contractable condominium" means a condominium from which one or more portions of the submitted land may be withdrawn in accordance with the provisions of the declaration and of this chapter. If such withdrawal can occur only by the expiration or termination of one or more leases, then the condominium shall not be deemed a contractable condominium.

"Conversion condominium" means a condominium containing structures that before the recording of the declaration were wholly or partially occupied by persons other than those who have contracted for the purchase of condominium units and those who occupy with the consent of such purchasers.

"Convertible land" means a portion of the common elements within which additional units or limited common elements may be created in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

"Convertible space" means a portion of a structure within the condominium that a declarant may convert into one or more units or common elements, including limited common elements, in accordance with the provisions of the declaration and this chapter.

"Declarant" means any person, or group of persons acting in concert, that (i) offers to dispose of its interest in a condominium unit not previously disposed of, including an institutional lender that may not have succeeded to or accepted any special declarant rights pursuant to § 55.1-1947; (ii) reserves or succeeds to any special declarant right; or (iii) applies for registration of the condominium. However, for the purposes of clauses (i) and (iii), "declarant" does not include an institutional lender that acquires title by foreclosure or deed in lieu of foreclosure unless such lender offers to dispose of its interest in a condominium unit not previously disposed of to anyone not in the business of selling real estate for his own account, except as otherwise provided in § 55.1-1947. "Declarant" does not include an individual who acquires title to a condominium unit at a foreclosure sale.

"Dispose" or "disposition" refers to any voluntary transfer of a legal or equitable interest in a condominium unit to a purchaser, but does not include the transfer or release of security for a debt.

"Electronic means" means any form of communication, not directly involving the physical transmission of paper, that creates a record that may be retained, retrieved, and reviewed by a recipient of such communication. Any term used in this definition that is defined in § 59.1-480 of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act has the meaning set forth in that section.

"Executive board" means an executive and administrative entity, by whatever name denominated, designated in the condominium instruments as the governing body of the unit owners' association.

"Expandable condominium" means a condominium to which additional land may be added in accordance with the provisions of the declaration and this chapter.

"Future common expenses" means common expenses for which assessments are not yet due and payable.

"Identifying number" means one or more letters or numbers that identify only one unit in the condominium.

"Institutional lender" means one or more commercial or savings banks, savings and loan associations, trust companies, credit unions, industrial loan associations, insurance companies, pension funds, or business trusts, including real estate investment trusts, any other lender regularly engaged in financing the purchase, construction, or improvement of real estate, or any assignee of loans made by such a lender, or any combination of any of the foregoing entities.

"Land" is a three-dimensional concept and includes parcels with upper or lower boundaries, or both upper and lower boundaries, as well as parcels extending ab solo usque ad coelum. Parcels of airspace constitute land within the meaning of this chapter. Any requirement in this chapter of a legally sufficient description shall be deemed to include a requirement that the upper or lower boundaries, if any, of the parcel in question be identified with reference to established datum.

"Leasehold condominium" means a condominium in all or any portion of which each unit owner owns an estate for years in his unit, or in the land within which that unit is situated, or both, with all such leasehold interests due to expire naturally at the same time. A condominium including leased land, or an interest in such land, within which no units are situated or to be situated is not a leasehold condominium within the meaning of this chapter.

"Limited common element" means a portion of the common elements reserved for the exclusive use of those entitled to the use of one or more, but less than all, of the units.

"Nonbinding reservation agreement" means an agreement between the declarant and a prospective purchaser that is in no way binding on the prospective purchaser and that may be canceled without penalty at the sole discretion of the prospective purchaser.

"Offer" means any inducement, solicitation, or attempt to encourage any person to acquire any legal or equitable interest in a condominium unit, except as security for a debt. Nothing that expressly states that the condominium has not been registered with the Common Interest Community Board and that no unit in the condominium can or will be offered for sale until such time as the condominium has been so registered shall be considered an "offer."

"Officer" means any member of the executive board or official of the unit owners' association.

"Par value" means a number of dollars or points assigned to each unit by the declaration. Substantially identical units shall be assigned the same par value, but units located at substantially different heights above the ground, or having substantially different views, or having substantially different amenities or other characteristics that might result in differences in market value may be considered substantially identical within the meaning of §§ 55.1-1917 and 55.1-1918.

"Person" means a natural person, corporation, partnership, association, trust, or other entity capable of holding title to real property, or any combination thereof.

"Purchaser" means any person, other than a declarant, that acquires by means of a voluntary transfer a legal or equitable interest in a condominium unit, other than (i) a leasehold interest, including renewal options, of less than 20 years or (ii) as security for a debt.

"Settlement agent" means the same as that term is defined in § 55.1-1000.

"Size" means the number of cubic feet, or the number of square feet of ground or floor space, within each unit as computed by reference to the plat and plans and rounded to the nearest whole number. Certain spaces within the units, including attic, basement, or garage space, may be omitted from such calculation or partially discounted by the use of a ratio, so long as the same basis of calculation is employed for all units in the condominium and so long as that basis is described in the declaration.

"Special declarant rights" means any right reserved for the benefit of a declarant, or of a person or group of persons that becomes a declarant, to (i) expand an expandable condominium; (ii) contract a contractable condominium; (iii) convert convertible land or convertible space or both; (iv) appoint or remove any officers of the unit owners' association or the executive board pursuant to subsection A of § 55.1-1943; (v) exercise any power or responsibility otherwise assigned by any condominium instrument or by this chapter to the unit owners' association, any officer, or the executive board; or (vi) maintain sales offices, management offices, model units, and signs pursuant to § 55.1-1929.

"Unit" means a portion of the condominium designed and intended for individual ownership and use. For the purposes of this chapter, a convertible space shall be treated as a unit in accordance with subsection D of § 55.1-1925.

"Unit owner" means one or more persons that own a condominium unit or, in the case of a leasehold condominium, whose leasehold interest in the condominium extends for the entire balance of the unexpired term. "Unit owner" includes any purchaser of a condominium unit at a foreclosure sale, regardless of whether the deed is recorded in the land records where the unit is located. "Unit owner" does not include any person holding an interest in a condominium unit solely as security for a debt.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.41; 1975, c. 415; 1981, c. 480; 1982, c. 545; 1991, c. 497; 1993, c. 667; 1996, c. 977; 2001, c. 715; 2002, c. 459; 2003, c. 442; 2008, cc. 851, 871; 2015, cc. 93, 410; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1901. (Effective October 1, 2019) Application and construction of chapter.

A. This chapter applies to all condominiums and to all horizontal property regimes or condominium projects. This chapter supersedes the Horizontal Property Act (§ 55.1-2000 et seq.), and no condominium shall be established under the Horizontal Property Act on or after July 1, 1974. This chapter shall not be construed to affect the validity of any provision of any condominium instrument recorded prior to July 1, 1974. For the purposes of this chapter, as used in the Horizontal Property Act (§ 55.1-2000 et seq.):

"Apartment" corresponds to the term "unit."

"Co-owner" corresponds to the term "unit owner."

"Council of co-owners" corresponds to the term "unit owners' association."

"Developer" corresponds to the term "declarant."

"General common elements" corresponds to the term "common elements."

"Horizontal property regime" and "condominium project" correspond to the term "condominium."

"Master deed" and "master lease" correspond to the term "declaration" and are included in the term "condominium instruments."

B. This chapter does not apply to condominiums located outside the Commonwealth. Sections 55.1-1971, 55.1-1974 through 55.1-1982, and 55.1-1985 through 55.1-1989 apply to all contracts for the disposition of condominium units signed in the Commonwealth by any person, unless exempt under § 55.1-1972.

C. Subsection B of § 55.1-1955 and § 55.1-1982 do not apply to the declarant of a conversion condominium if that declarant is a proprietary lessees' association that, immediately before the creation of the condominium, owned fee simple title to or a fee simple reversionary interest in the real estate described pursuant to subdivision A 3 of § 55.1-1916.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.40; 1982, c. 545; 1989, c. 63; 2006, c. 646; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1902. (Effective October 1, 2019) Variation by agreement.

Except as expressly provided in this chapter, provisions of this chapter shall not be varied by agreement, and rights conferred by this chapter shall not be waived. A declarant shall not act under power of attorney or use any other device to evade the limitations or prohibitions of this chapter or of the condominium instruments.

1982, c. 545, § 55-79.41:1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1903. (Effective October 1, 2019) Separate assessments, titles, and taxation.

Except as otherwise provided in this section, each condominium unit constitutes a separate parcel of real estate. If there is any unit owner other than the declarant, each unit, together with its common element interest, but excluding its common element interest in convertible land and in any withdrawable land within which the declarant has the right to create units or limited common elements, shall be separately assessed and taxed. Each convertible land and withdrawable land within which the declarant has the right to create units or limited common elements shall be separately assessed and taxed against the declarant.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.42; 1986, c. 324; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1904. (Effective October 1, 2019) Association charges.

Except as expressly authorized in this chapter, in the condominium instruments, or as otherwise provided by law, no unit owners' association may make an assessment or impose a charge against a unit owner unless the charge is (i) authorized under § 55.1-1964, (ii) a fee for services provided, or (iii) related to the provisions set out in § 55.1-1992. The Common Interest Community Board may assess a monetary penalty for a violation of this section against any (a) unit owners' association pursuant to § 54.1-2351 or (b) common interest community manager pursuant to § 54.1-2349 and may issue a cease and desist order pursuant to § 54.1-2349 or 54.1-2352, as applicable.

2015, c. 277, § 55-79.42:1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1905. (Effective October 1, 2019) Local ordinances; nonconforming conversion condominiums; applicability of Uniform Statewide Building Code; other regulations.

A. No zoning or other land use ordinance shall prohibit condominiums solely on the basis of the form of ownership, nor shall any condominium be treated differently by any zoning or other land use ordinance that would permit a physically identical project or development under a different form of ownership. Except as provided in subsection E, no local government may require further review or approval to record condominium instruments when a property has previously complied with subdivision, site plan, zoning, or other applicable land use regulations.

B. Subdivision and site plan ordinances in any locality shall apply to any condominium in the same manner as such ordinances would apply to a physically identical project or development under a different form of ownership; however, the declarant need not apply for or obtain subdivision approval to record condominium instruments if site plan approval for the land being submitted to the condominium has first been obtained.

C. During development of a condominium containing additional land or withdrawable land, phase lines created by the condominium instruments shall not be considered property lines for purposes of subdivision. If the condominium can no longer be expanded by the addition of additional land, then the owner of the land not part of the condominium shall subdivide such land prior to its conveyance, unless such land is subject to an approved site plan as provided in subsection B, or prior to modification of such approved site plan. In the event of any conveyance of land within phase lines of the condominium, the condominium and any lot created by such conveyance shall be deemed to comply with the local subdivision ordinance, provided that such land is subject to an approved site plan.

D. During the period of declarant control and as long as the declarant has the right to create additional units or to complete the common elements, the declarant has the authority to execute, file, and process any subdivision, site plan, zoning, or other land use applications or disclosures, including related conditional zoning proffers and agreements that do not create an affirmative obligation on the unit owners' association without its consent, with respect to the common elements or applications affecting more than one unit, notwithstanding that the declarant is not the owner of the land.

In accordance with subsection B of § 55.1-1956, once the declarant no longer has such authority, the executive board of the unit owners' association, if any, and if not, then a representative duly appointed by the unit owners' association, shall have the authority to execute, file, and process any subdivision, site plan, zoning, or other land use applications or disclosures, including related conditional zoning proffers and agreements that do not create an affirmative obligation on the declarant without its consent, with respect to the common elements or applications affecting more than one unit, notwithstanding that the unit owners' association is not the owner of the land. Such applications shall not adversely affect the rights of the declarant to develop additional land. For purposes of obtaining building and occupancy permits, the unit owner, including the declarant if the declarant is the unit owner, shall apply for permits for the unit, and the unit owners' association shall apply for permits for the common elements, except that the declarant shall apply for permits for convertible land.

E. Localities may provide by ordinance that the declarant of a proposed conversion condominium that does not conform to the zoning, land use, and site plan regulations of the respective locality in which the property is located shall secure a special use permit, a special exception, or a variance, as the case may be, prior to such property's becoming a conversion condominium. The local authority shall grant a request for such a special use permit, special exception, or variance filed on or after July 1, 1982, if the applicant can demonstrate to the reasonable satisfaction of the local authority that the nonconformities are not likely to be adversely affected by the proposed conversion. The local authority shall not unreasonably delay action on any such request. In the event of an approved conversion to condominium ownership, a locality, sanitary district, or other political subdivision may impose such charges and fees as are lawfully imposed by such locality, sanitary district, or political subdivision as a result of construction of new structures to the extent that such charges and fees, or portions of such charges and fees, imposed upon property subject to such conversions may be reasonably related to greater or additional services provided by the locality, sanitary district, or political subdivision as a result of the conversion.

F. Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit application of any provision of the Uniform Statewide Building Code (§ 36-97 et seq.) or any local ordinances regulating design and construction of roads, sewer and water lines, stormwater management facilities, and other public infrastructure to a condominium in a manner different from the manner in which such provision is applied to other buildings of similar physical form and nature of occupancy.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.43; 1975, c. 415; 1982, c. 663; 1991, c. 497; 2006, cc. 9, 317; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1906. (Effective October 1, 2019) Eminent domain.

A. If any portion of the common elements is taken by eminent domain, the award for such taking shall be paid to the unit owners' association, provided, however, that the portion of the award attributable to the taking of any permanently assigned limited common element shall be allocated by the order to the unit owner of the unit to which that limited common element was so assigned at the time of the taking. If that limited common element was permanently assigned to more than one unit at the time of the taking, then the portion of the award attributable to the taking of such limited common element shall be allocated in equal shares to the unit owners of the units to which it was so assigned or in such other shares as the condominium instruments may specify for this express purpose. A permanently assigned limited common element is a limited common element that cannot be reassigned or that can be reassigned only with the consent of the unit owner of the unit to which it is assigned in accordance with § 55.1-1919.

B. If one or more units are taken by eminent domain, the undivided interest in the common elements appertaining to any such unit shall thenceforth appertain to the remaining units, being allocated to them in proportion to their respective undivided interests in the common elements. The court shall enter an order reflecting the reallocation of undivided interests produced by such taking, and the award shall include just compensation to the unit owner of any unit taken for his undivided interest in the common elements as well as for his unit.

C. 1. If portions of any unit are taken by eminent domain, the court shall determine the fair market value of the portions of such unit not taken, and the undivided interest in the common elements appertaining to any such units shall be reduced, in the case of each such unit, in proportion to the diminution in the fair market value of such unit resulting from the taking.

2. The portions of undivided interest in the common elements thereby divested from the unit owners of any such units shall be reallocated among those units and the other units in the condominium in proportion to their respective undivided interests in the common elements, with any units partially taken participating in such reallocation on the basis of their undivided interests as reduced in accordance with subdivision 1.

3. The court shall enter an order reflecting the reallocation of undivided interests produced thereby, and the award shall include just compensation to the unit owner of any unit partially taken for that portion of his undivided interest in the common elements divested by operation of subdivision 1 and not revested by operation of subdivision 2, as well as for that portion of his unit taken by eminent domain.

D. If, however, the taking of a portion of any unit makes it impractical to use the remaining portion of that unit for any lawful purpose permitted by the condominium instruments, then the entire undivided interest in the common elements appertaining to that unit shall thenceforth appertain to the remaining units, being allocated to them in proportion to their respective undivided interests in the common elements, and the remaining portion of that unit shall thenceforth be a common element. The court shall enter an order reflecting the reallocation of undivided interests produced thereby, and the award shall include just compensation to the unit owner of such unit for his entire undivided interest in the common elements and for his entire unit.

E. Votes in the unit owners' association, rights to future common profits, and liabilities for future common expenses not specially assessed, appertaining to any unit taken or partially taken by eminent domain, shall thenceforth appertain to the remaining units, being allocated to them in proportion to their relative voting strength in the unit owners' association, with any units partially taken participating in such reallocation as though their voting strength in the unit owners' association had been reduced in proportion to the reduction in their undivided interests in the common elements, and the order of the court shall provide accordingly.

F. The order of the court shall require the recordation of such order among the land records of the county or city in which the condominium is located.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.44; 1975, c. 415; 1982, c. 545; 1998, c. 32; 2019, c. 712.

Article 2. Creation, Alteration, and Termination of Condominiums

§ 55.1-1907. (Effective October 1, 2019) How condominium may be created.

No condominium shall come into existence except by the recordation of condominium instruments pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. No condominium instruments shall be recorded unless all units located or to be located on any portion of the submitted land, other than within the boundaries of any convertible lands, are depicted on plats and plans that comply with the provisions of subsections A and B of § 55.1-1920.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.45; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1908. (Effective October 1, 2019) Release of liens.

A. At the time of the conveyance to the first purchaser of a condominium unit following the recordation of the declaration, every mortgage, deed of trust, any other perfected lien, or any mechanics' or materialmen's liens affecting all of the condominium or a greater portion of the condominium than the condominium unit conveyed shall be paid and satisfied of record, or the declarant shall forthwith have such condominium unit released of record from all such liens not so paid and satisfied. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply, however, to any withdrawable land in a contractable condominium, nor shall any provision of this subsection be construed to prohibit the unit owners' association from mortgaging or causing a deed of trust to be placed on any portion of the condominium within which no units are located, so long as the period of declarant control specified in § 55.1-1943 has expired and so long as the bylaws authorize such action. This subsection does not apply to any lien on more than one condominium unit in a condominium in which all units are restricted to nonresidential use and in which all unit owners whose condominium units will be subject to such lien expressly agree to assume or take subject to such lien.

B. If any lien, other than a deed of trust or mortgage, becomes effective against two or more condominium units subsequent to the creation of the condominium, any unit owner may remove his condominium unit from that lien by payment of the amount attributable to his condominium unit. Such amount shall be computed by reference to the liability for common expenses appertaining to that condominium unit pursuant to subsection D of § 55.1-1964. Subsequent to such payment, discharge, or other satisfaction, the unit owner of that condominium unit shall be entitled to have that lien released as to his condominium unit in accordance with the provisions of § 55.1-341, and the unit owners' association shall not assess, or have a valid lien against, that condominium unit for any portion of the common expenses incurred in connection with that lien, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in §§ 55.1-1964 and 55.1-1966.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.46; 1985, c. 107; 1992, c. 72; 1993, c. 667; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1909. (Effective October 1, 2019) Description of condominium units.

After the creation of the condominium, no description of a condominium unit shall be deemed vague, uncertain, or otherwise insufficient or infirm if it sets forth the identifying number of that unit, the name of the condominium, the name of the county or city in which the condominium is situated, and either the deed book and page number where the first page of the declaration is recorded or the document number assigned to the declaration by the clerk. Any such description shall be deemed to include the undivided interest in the common elements appertaining to such unit even if such interest is not defined or referred to in the description.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.47; 1975, c. 415; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1910. (Effective October 1, 2019) Execution of condominium instruments.

The declaration and bylaws, and any amendments to either made pursuant to § 55.1-1934, shall be duly executed by or on behalf of all of the owners and lessees of the submitted land. The phrase "owners and lessees" in this section and in § 55.1-1926 does not include, in their capacity as such, any mortgagee, any trustee or beneficiary under a deed of trust, any other lien holder, any person having an equitable interest under any contract for the sale or lease of a condominium unit, any lessee whose leasehold interest does not extend to any portion of the common elements, any person whose land is subject to an easement included in the condominium, or, in the case of a leasehold condominium subject to any lease executed before July 1, 1962, any lessor of the submitted land who is not a declarant.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.48; 1980, c. 702; 1984, c. 21; 1990, c. 831; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1911. (Effective October 1, 2019) Recordation of condominium instruments.

All amendments and certifications of condominium instruments shall set forth the name of the county or city in which the condominium is located and the deed book and page number where the first page of the declaration is recorded. All condominium instruments and all amendments and certifications of such condominium instruments shall be recorded in every county and city in which any portion of the condominium is located. The condominium instruments, amendments, and certifications shall set forth the name of the condominium and either the deed book and page number where the first page of the declaration is recorded or the document number assigned to the declaration by the clerk.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.49; 1975, c. 415; 1982, c. 545; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1912. (Effective October 1, 2019) Construction of condominium instruments.

Except to the extent otherwise provided by the condominium instruments:

1. The terms defined in § 55.1-1900 shall be deemed to have the meanings therein specified wherever they appear in the condominium instruments unless the context requires a different meaning.

2. To the extent that walls, floors, or ceilings are designated as the boundaries of the units or of any specified units, all lath, wallboard, plasterboard, plaster, paneling, tiles, wallpaper, paint, and finished flooring and any other materials constituting any part of the finished surfaces of such walls, floors, or ceilings are part of such units, while all other portions of such walls, floors, or ceilings are a part of the common elements.

3. If any chutes, flues, ducts, conduits, wires, bearing walls, bearing columns, or other apparatus lies partially within and partially outside of the designated boundaries of a unit, any portions serving only that unit are a part of that unit, while any portions serving more than one unit or any portion of the common elements are a part of the common elements.

4. Subject to the provisions of subdivision 3, all space, interior partitions, and other fixtures and improvements within the boundaries of a unit are a part of that unit.

5. Any shutters, awnings, doors, windows, window boxes, doorsteps, porches, balconies, patios, or other apparatus designed to serve a single unit, but located outside the boundaries of such unit, are limited common elements appertaining to that unit exclusively, except that if a single unit's electrical master switch is located outside the designated boundaries of the unit, the switch and its cover are a part of the common elements.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.50; 1982, cc. 206, 545; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1913. (Effective October 1, 2019) Complementarity of condominium instruments; controlling construction.

The condominium instruments shall be construed together and shall be deemed to incorporate one another to the extent that any requirement of this chapter as to the content of one shall be deemed satisfied if the deficiency can be cured by reference to any of the others. In the event of any conflict between the condominium instruments, the declaration shall control; but particular provisions shall control more general provisions, except that a construction consistent with the statute shall in all cases control over any inconsistent construction.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.51; 1975, c. 415; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1914. (Effective October 1, 2019) Validity of condominium instruments; discrimination prohibited.

A. All provisions of the condominium instruments shall be deemed severable, and any unlawful provision of such condominium instruments shall be void.

B. No provision of the condominium instruments shall be deemed void by reason of the rule against perpetuities.

C. No restraint on alienation shall discriminate or be used to discriminate on any basis prohibited under the Virginia Fair Housing Law (§ 36-96.1 et seq.).

D. Subject to the provisions of subsection C, the rule of property law known as the rule restricting unreasonable restraints on alienation shall not be applied to defeat any provision of the condominium instruments restraining the alienation of condominium units other than such units as may be restricted to residential use only.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.52; 1975, c. 415; 1998, cc. 32, 454; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1915. (Effective October 1, 2019) Compliance with condominium instruments.

A. The declarant, every unit owner, and all those entitled to occupy a unit shall comply with all lawful provisions of this chapter and all provisions of the condominium instruments. Any lack of such compliance shall be grounds for an action to recover sums due, for damages or injunctive relief, or for any other remedy available at law or in equity, maintainable by the unit owners' association or by its executive board or any managing agent on behalf of such association or, in any proper case, by one or more aggrieved unit owners on their own behalf or as a class action. A unit owners' association shall have standing to sue in its own name for any claims or actions related to the common elements as provided in subsection B of § 55.1-1956. Except as provided in subsection B, the prevailing party shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorney fees, costs expended in the matter, and interest on the judgment as provided in § 8.01-382. This section does not preclude an action against the unit owners' association and authorizes the recovery, by the prevailing party in any such action, of reasonable attorney fees, costs expended in the matter, and interest on the judgment as provided in § 8.01-382 in such actions.

B. In actions against a unit owner for nonpayment of assessments in which the unit owner has failed to pay assessments levied by the unit owners' association on more than one unit or such unit owner has had legal actions taken against him for nonpayment of any prior assessment and the prevailing party is the association or its executive board or any managing agent on behalf of the association, the prevailing party shall be awarded reasonable attorney fees, costs expended in the matter, and interest on the judgment as provided in subsection A, even if the proceeding is settled prior to judgment. The delinquent unit owner shall be personally responsible for reasonable attorney fees and costs expended in the matter by the unit owners' association, whether any judicial proceedings are filed.

C. The condominium instruments may provide for arbitration of disputes or other means of alternative dispute resolution. Any such arbitration held in accordance with this subsection shall be consistent with the provisions of this chapter and Chapter 21 (§ 8.01-577 et seq.) of Title 8.01. The place of any such arbitration or alternative dispute resolution shall be in the county or city in which the condominium is located or as mutually agreed by the parties.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.53; 1975, c. 415; 1993, c. 667; 1996, c. 977; 2012, c. 758; 2014, c. 569; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1916. (Effective October 1, 2019) Contents of declaration.

A. The declaration for every condominium shall contain the following:

1. The name of the condominium, which name shall include the word "condominium" or be followed by the words "a condominium."

2. The name of the county or city in which the condominium is located.

3. A legal description by metes and bounds of the land submitted in accordance with this chapter.

4. A description or delineation of the boundaries of the units, including the horizontal (upper and lower) boundaries, if any, as well as the vertical (lateral or perimetric) boundaries.

5. A description or delineation of any limited common elements, other than those that are limited common elements by virtue of subdivision 5 of § 55.1-1912, showing or designating the unit or units to which each is assigned.

6. A description or delineation of all common elements not within the boundaries of any convertible lands that may subsequently be assigned as limited common elements, together with a statement that (i) they may be so assigned and a description of the method by which any such assignments shall be made in accordance with the provisions of § 55.1-1919 or (ii) once assigned, the conditions under which they may be unassigned and converted to common elements in accordance with § 55.1-1919.

7. The allocation to each unit of an undivided interest in the common elements in accordance with the provisions of § 55.1-1917.

8. A statement of the extent of the declarant's obligation to complete improvements labeled "NOT YET COMPLETED" or to begin and complete improvements labeled "NOT YET BEGUN" on plats recorded pursuant to the requirements of this chapter. Such statement shall be specific as to the type and quality of materials to be used, the size or capacity of the improvements when material, and the time by which such improvements shall be completed.

9. Such other matters as the declarant deems appropriate.

B. If the condominium contains any convertible land, the declaration shall also contain the following:

1. A legal description by metes and bounds of each convertible land within the condominium.

2. A statement of the maximum number of units that may be created within each such convertible land.

3. A statement, with respect to each such convertible land, of the maximum percentage of the aggregate land and floor area of all units that may be created in such convertible land that may be occupied by units not restricted exclusively to residential use. Such statement is not required if none of the units on other portions of the submitted land are restricted exclusively to residential use.

4. A statement of the extent to which any structure erected on any convertible land will be compatible with structures on other portions of the submitted land in terms of quality of construction, the principal materials to be used, and architectural style.

5. A description of all other improvements that may be made on each convertible land within the condominium.

6. A statement that any units created within each convertible land will be substantially identical to the units on other portions of the submitted land, or a statement describing in detail what other types of units may be created in such convertible land.

7. A description of the declarant's reserved right, if any, to create limited common elements within any convertible land or to designate common elements in such convertible land that may subsequently be assigned as limited common elements, in terms of the types, sizes, and maximum number of such elements within each such convertible land.

Plats and plans may be recorded as exhibits to the declaration to supplement information furnished pursuant to subdivisions 1, 4, 5, 6, and 7.

C. If the condominium is an expandable condominium, the declaration shall also contain the following:

1. The explicit reservation of an option to expand the condominium.

2. A statement of any limitations on that option, including a statement as to whether the consent of any unit owners shall be required, and, if so, a statement as to the method by which such consent shall be ascertained, or a statement that there are no such limitations.

3. A time limit, not exceeding 10 years after the recording of the declaration, upon which the option to expand the condominium shall expire, together with a statement of the circumstances, if any, that will terminate that option prior to the expiration of the time limit so specified. After the expiration of any period of declarant control reserved pursuant to subsection A of § 55.1-1943, such time limit may be extended by an amendment to the declaration made pursuant to § 55.1-1934.

4. A legal description by metes and bounds of all land that may be added to the condominium, henceforth referred to as "additional land."

5. A statement as to whether, if any of the additional land is added to the condominium, all of it or any particular portion of it must be added and, if not, a statement of any limitations as to what portions may be added, or a statement that there are no such limitations.

6. A statement as to whether portions of the additional land may be added to the condominium at different times, together with any limitations fixing the boundaries of those portions by legal descriptions setting forth the metes and bounds of such portions or regulating the order in which they may be added to the condominium.

7. A statement of any limitations as to the locations of any improvements that may be made on any portions of the additional land added to the condominium, or a statement that no assurances are made in that regard.

8. A statement of the maximum number of units that may be created on the additional land. If portions of the additional land may be added to the condominium and the boundaries of those portions are fixed in accordance with subdivision 6, the declaration shall also state the maximum number of units that may be created on each such portion added to the condominium. If portions of the additional land may be added to the condominium and the boundaries of those portions are not fixed in accordance with subdivision 6, then the declaration shall also state the maximum number of units per acre that may be created on any such portion added to the condominium.

9. A statement, with respect to the additional land and to any portion of such additional land that may be added to the condominium, of the maximum percentage of the aggregate land and floor area of all units that may be created on such additional land that may be occupied by units not restricted exclusively to residential use. Such statement is not required if none of the units on the submitted land are restricted exclusively to residential use.

10. A statement of the extent to which any structures erected on any portion of the additional land added to the condominium will be compatible with structures on the submitted land in terms of quality of construction, the principal materials to be used, and architectural style, or a statement that no assurances are made in those regards.

11. A description of all other improvements that will be made on any portion of the additional land added to the condominium, or a statement of any limitations as to what other improvements may be made on such additional land, or a statement that no assurances are made in that regard.

12. A statement that any units created on any portion of the additional land added to the condominium will be substantially identical to the units on the submitted land, or a statement of any limitations as to what types of units may be created on such additional land, or a statement that no assurances are made in that regard.

13. A description of the declarant's reserved right, if any, to create limited common elements within any portion of the additional land added to the condominium or to designate common elements in such additional land that may subsequently be assigned as limited common elements, in terms of the types, sizes, and maximum number of such elements within each such portion, or a statement that no assurances are made in those regards.

Plats and plans may be recorded as exhibits to the declaration to supplement information furnished pursuant to subdivisions 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, and 13.

D. If the condominium is a contractable condominium, the declaration shall also contain the following:

1. The explicit reservation of an option to contract the condominium.

2. A statement of any limitations on that option, including a statement as to whether the consent of any unit owners shall be required, and, if so, a statement as to the method whereby such consent shall be ascertained, or a statement that there are no such limitations.

3. A time limit, not exceeding 10 years after the recording of the declaration, upon which the option to contract the condominium shall expire, together with a statement of the circumstances, if any, that will terminate that option prior to the expiration of the time limit so specified.

4. A legal description by metes and bounds of all land that may be withdrawn from the condominium, hereinafter referred to as "withdrawable land."

5. A statement as to whether portions of the withdrawable land may be withdrawn from the condominium at different times, together with any limitations fixing the boundaries of those portions by legal descriptions setting forth the metes and bounds or regulating the order in which they may be withdrawn from the condominium.

6. A legal description by metes and bounds of all of the submitted land to which the option to contract the condominium does not extend. This subdivision shall not be construed in derogation of any right the declarant may have to terminate the condominium in accordance with the provisions of § 55.1-1937.

Plats may be recorded as exhibits to the declaration to supplement information furnished pursuant to subdivisions 4, 5, and 6.

E. If the condominium is a leasehold condominium, then with respect to any ground lease or other leases the expiration or termination of which will or may terminate or contract the condominium, the declaration shall set forth the county or city in which such lease is recorded and the deed book and page number where the first page of each such lease is recorded, and the declaration shall also contain the following:

1. The date upon which each such lease is due to expire.

2. A statement as to whether any land or improvements will be owned by the unit owners in fee simple and, if so, either (i) a description of the same, including a legal description by metes and bounds of any such land, or (ii) a statement of any rights the unit owners shall have to remove such improvements within a reasonable time after the expiration or termination of the lease involved, or a statement that they shall have no such rights.

3. A statement of the rights the unit owners shall have to redeem any reversion, or a statement that they shall have no such rights.

After the recording of the declaration, no lessor who executed such declaration, and no successor in interest to such lessor, shall have any right or power to terminate any part of the leasehold interest of any unit owner who makes timely payment of his share of the rent to the person designated in the declaration for the receipt of such rent and who otherwise complies with all covenants that, if violated, would entitle the lessor to terminate the lease. Acquisition or reacquisition of such a leasehold interest by the owner of the reversion or remainder does not cause a merger of the leasehold and fee simple interests unless all leasehold interests in the condominium are thus acquired or reacquired.

F. Wherever this section requires a legal description by metes and bounds of land that is submitted pursuant to this chapter or that may be added to or withdrawn from the condominium, such requirement shall be deemed satisfied by any legally sufficient description and shall be deemed to require a legally sufficient description of any easements that are submitted pursuant to this chapter or that may be added to or withdrawn from the condominium, as appropriate. In the case of each such easement, the declaration shall contain the following:

1. A description of the permitted use or uses.

2. If less than all of those entitled to the use of all of the units may utilize such easement, a statement of the relevant restrictions and limitations on utilization.

3. If any persons other than those entitled to the use of the units may utilize such easement, a statement of the rights of others to utilization of the easement.

G. Wherever this section requires a legal description by metes and bounds of land that is submitted pursuant to this chapter or that may be added to or withdrawn from the condominium, an added requirement shall be a separate legally sufficient description of all lands in which the unit owners shall or may be tenants in common or joint tenants with any other persons and a separate legally sufficient description of all lands in which the unit owners shall or may be life tenants. No units shall be situated on any such lands, however, and the declaration shall describe the nature of the unit owners' estate in such lands. No such lands shall be shown on the same plat or plats showing other portions of the condominium but shall be shown instead on separate plats.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.54; 1975, c. 415; 1977, c. 428; 1982, c. 545; 1993, c. 667; 1998, c. 32; 2012, c. 520; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1917. (Effective October 1, 2019) Allocation of interests in the common elements.

A. The declaration may allocate to each unit depicted on plats and plans that comply with subsections A and B of § 55.1-1920 an undivided interest in the common elements proportionate to either the size or par value of each unit. If par value is stated in terms of dollars, that statement shall not be deemed to reflect or control the sales price or fair market value of any unit, and no opinion, appraisal, or fair market transaction at a different figure shall affect the par value of any unit or any undivided interest in the common elements, voting rights in the unit owners' association, or liability for common expenses assigned on the basis of such par value.

B. If the basis for allocation provided in subsection A is not used, then the declaration shall allocate to each such unit an equal undivided interest in the common elements, subject to the following exception: Each convertible space so depicted shall be allocated an undivided interest in the common elements proportionate to the size of each such space, vis-a-vis the aggregate size of all units so depicted, while the remaining undivided interest in the common elements shall be allocated equally to the other units so depicted.

C. The undivided interests in the common elements allocated in accordance with subsection A or B shall add up to 1 if stated as fractions or 100 percent if stated as percentages.

D. If, in accordance with subsection A or B, an equal undivided interest in the common elements is allocated to each unit, the declaration may state that fact and need not express the fraction or percentage so allocated.

E. Unless an equal undivided interest in the common elements is allocated to each unit, the undivided interest allocated to each unit in accordance with subsection A or B shall be reflected by a table in the declaration, or by an exhibit to the declaration, containing three columns. The first column shall identify the units, listing them serially or grouping them together in the case of units to which identical undivided interests are allocated. Corresponding figures in the second and third columns shall set forth the respective areas or par values of those units and the fraction or percentage of undivided interest in the common elements allocated to such units.

F. Except to the extent otherwise expressly provided by this chapter, the undivided interest in the common elements allocated to any unit shall not be altered, and any purported transfer, encumbrance, or other disposition of that interest without the unit to which it appertains is void.

G. The common elements shall not be subject to any action for partition until and unless the condominium is terminated.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.55; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1918. (Effective October 1, 2019) Reallocation of interests in common elements.

A. If a condominium contains any convertible land or is an expandable condominium, then the declaration shall not allocate undivided interests in the common elements on the basis of par value unless the declaration:

1. Prohibits the creation of any units not substantially identical to the units depicted on the plats and plans recorded pursuant to subsections A and B of § 55.1-1920; or

2. Prohibits the creation of any units not described pursuant to subdivision B 6 of § 55.1-1916, in the case of convertible lands, and subdivision C 12 of § 55.1-1916, in the case of additional land, and contains from the outset a statement of the par value that shall be assigned to every such unit that may be created.

B. Interests in the common elements shall not be allocated to any units to be created within any convertible land or within any additional land until plats and plans depicting the same are recorded pursuant to subsection C of § 55.1-1920. But simultaneously with the recording of such plats and plans, the declarant shall execute and record an amendment to the declaration reallocating undivided interests in the common elements so that the units depicted on such plats and plans shall be allocated undivided interests in the common elements on the same basis as the units depicted on the plats and plans recorded simultaneously with the declaration pursuant to subsections A and B of § 55.1-1920.

C. If all of a convertible space is converted into common elements, including limited common elements, then the undivided interest in the common elements appertaining to such space shall then appertain to the remaining units, being allocated among them in proportion to their undivided interests in the common elements. The principal officer of the unit owners' association, or such other officer as the condominium instruments may specify, shall forthwith prepare, execute, and record an amendment to the declaration reflecting the reallocation of undivided interests produced by such conversion.

D. In the case of a leasehold condominium, if the expiration or termination of any lease causes a contraction of the condominium that reduces the number of units, then the undivided interest in the common elements appertaining to any units withdrawn from the condominium shall then appertain to the remaining units, being allocated among them in proportion to their undivided interests in the common elements. The principal officer of the unit owners' association, or such other officer as the condominium instruments may specify, shall forthwith prepare, execute, and record an amendment to the declaration reflecting the reallocation of undivided interests produced by such contraction.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.56; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1919. (Effective October 1, 2019) Assignments of limited common elements; conversion to common element.

A. All assignments and reassignments of limited common elements shall be reflected by the condominium instruments. No limited common element shall be assigned or reassigned except in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. No amendment to any condominium instrument shall alter any rights or obligations with respect to any limited common elements without the consent of all unit owners adversely affected by such amendment as evidenced by their execution of such amendment, except to the extent that the condominium instruments expressly provided otherwise prior to the first assignment of that limited common element.

B. Unless expressly prohibited by the condominium instruments, a limited common element may be reassigned or converted to a common element upon written application of the unit owners concerned to the principal officer of the unit owners' association, or to such other officer as the condominium instruments may specify. The officer to whom such application is duly made shall forthwith prepare and execute an amendment to the declaration reassigning all rights and obligations with respect to the limited common element involved. Such amendment shall be executed by all of the unit owners concerned and recorded by an officer of the unit owners' association or his agent following payment by the unit owners of the units concerned of all reasonable costs for the preparation, acknowledgment, and recordation of such amendment. The amendment is effective when recorded.

C. A common element not previously assigned as a limited common element shall be so assigned only pursuant to subdivision A 6 of § 55.1-1916. The amendment to the declaration making such an assignment shall be prepared and executed by the declarant, the principal officer of the unit owners' association, or by such other officer as the condominium instruments may specify. Such amendment shall be recorded by the declarant or his agent, without charge to any unit owner, or by an officer of the unit owners' association or his agent following payment by all of the unit owners of the units concerned of all reasonable costs for the preparation, acknowledgment, and recordation of such amendment. The amendment is effective when recorded, and the recordation of such amendment shall be conclusive evidence that the method prescribed pursuant to subdivision A 6 of § 55.1-1916 was adhered to. A copy of the amendment shall be delivered to the unit owners of the units concerned. If executed by the declarant, such an amendment recorded prior to July 1, 1983, shall not be invalid because it was not prepared by an officer of the unit owners' association.

D. If the declarant does not prepare and record an amendment to the declaration to effect the assignment of common elements as limited common elements in accordance with rights reserved in the condominium instruments, but has reflected an intention to make such assignments in deeds conveying units, then the principal officer of the unit owners' association may prepare, execute, and record such an amendment at any time after the declarant ceases to be a unit owner.

E. The declarant may unilaterally record an amendment to the declaration converting a limited common element appurtenant to a unit owned by the declarant into a common element as long as the declarant continues to own the unit.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.57; 1983, c. 230; 1991, c. 497; 1998, c. 32; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1920. (Effective October 1, 2019) Contents of plats and plans.

A. There shall be recorded simultaneously with the declaration one or more plats of survey showing the location and dimensions of the submitted land, the location and dimensions of any convertible lands within the submitted land, the location and dimensions of any existing improvements, the intended location and dimensions of any contemplated improvements that are to be located on any portion of the submitted land other than within the boundaries of any convertible lands, and, to the extent feasible, the location and dimensions of all easements appurtenant to the submitted land or otherwise subject to this chapter as a part of the common elements. If the submitted land is not contiguous, then the plats shall indicate the distances between the parcels constituting the submitted land. The plats shall label every convertible land as a convertible land, and if there is more than one such land, the plats shall label each such land with one or more letters or numbers different from those designating any other convertible land and different also from the identifying number of any unit. The plats shall show the location and dimensions of any withdrawable lands and shall label each such land as a withdrawable land. The plats shall show the location and dimensions of any additional lands and shall label each such land as an additional land. If, with respect to any portion, but less than all, of the submitted land, the unit owners are to own only an estate for years, the plats shall show the location and dimensions of any such portion, and shall label each such portion as a leased land. If there is more than one withdrawable land, or more than one leased land, the plats shall label each such land with one or more letters or numbers different from those designating any convertible land or other withdrawable or leased land, and different also from the identifying number of any unit. The plats shall show all easements to which the submitted land or any portion of such submitted land is subject and shall show the location and dimensions of all such easements to the extent feasible. The plats shall also show all encroachments by or on any portion of the condominium. In the case of any improvements located or to be located on any portion of the submitted land other than within the boundaries of any convertible lands, the plats shall indicate which, if any, have not been begun by the use of the phrase "NOT YET BEGUN" and which, if any, have been begun but have not been substantially completed by the use of the phrase "NOT YET COMPLETED." In the case of any units the vertical boundaries of which lie wholly or partially outside of structures for which plans pursuant to subsection B are simultaneously recorded, the plats shall show the location and dimensions of such vertical boundaries to the extent that they are not shown on such plans, and the units or portions thereof thus depicted shall bear their identifying numbers. Each plat shall be certified in a recorded document as to its accuracy and compliance with the provisions of this subsection by a licensed land surveyor, and the surveyor shall certify in such document or on the face of the plat that all units or portions of such units depicted on such plat pursuant to the preceding sentence of this subsection have been substantially completed. The specification within this subsection of items that shall be shown on the plats shall not be construed to mean that the plats shall not also show all other items customarily shown or hereafter required for land title surveys.

B. Plans shall also be recorded with the declaration. Such plans shall show every structure that contains or constitutes all or part of any unit and that is located on any portion of the submitted land other than within the boundaries of any convertible lands. The plans shall show the location and dimensions of the vertical boundaries of each unit to the extent that such boundaries lie within or coincide with the boundaries of such structures, and the units or portions of the submitted units so depicted shall bear their identifying numbers. In addition, each convertible space so depicted shall be labeled as convertible space. The horizontal boundaries of each unit having horizontal boundaries shall be identified on the plans with reference to established datum. Unless the condominium instruments expressly provide otherwise, it shall be presumed that in the case of any unit not wholly contained within or constituting one or more such structures, the horizontal boundaries thus identified extend, in the case of each such unit, at the same elevation with regard to any part of such unit, lying outside of such structures, subject to the following exception: In the case of any such unit that does not lie over any other unit other than basement units, it shall be presumed that the lower horizontal boundary, if any, of that unit lies at the level of the ground with regard to any part of that unit lying outside of such structures. The plans shall be certified on their face or in another recorded document as to their accuracy and compliance with the provisions of this subsection by a licensed architect, licensed engineer, or licensed land surveyor, and such architect, engineer, or land surveyor shall certify on the plans or in the recorded document that all units or portions of the submitted units depicted on such plans have been substantially completed.

C. When converting all or any portion of any convertible land, or adding additional land to an expandable condominium, the declarant shall record, with regard to any structures on the land being converted or added, either plats of survey conforming to the requirements of subsection A and plans conforming to the requirements of subsection B, or certifications conforming to the certification requirements of such subsections of plats and plans previously recorded pursuant to § 55.1-1922.

D. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections A and B, a time-share interest in a unit that has been subjected to a time-share instrument pursuant to § 55.1-2208 may be conveyed prior to substantial completion of that unit if (i) a completion bond has been filed in compliance with subsection B of § 55.1-1921 and remains in full force and effect until the unit is certified as substantially complete in accordance with subsections A and B and (ii) the settlement agent or title insurance company insuring the time-share estate in the unit certifies to the purchaser in writing, based on information provided by the Common Interest Community Board, that the bond has been filed with the Common Interest Community Board.

E. When converting all or any portion of any convertible space into one or more units or limited common elements, the declarant shall record, with regard to the structure or portion of such structure constituting that convertible space, plans showing the location and dimensions of the vertical boundaries of each unit or limited common elements formed out of such space. Such plans shall be certified as to their accuracy and compliance with the provisions of this subsection by a licensed architect, licensed engineer, or licensed land surveyor.

F. For the purposes of subsections A, B, and C, all provisions and requirements relating to units shall be deemed equally applicable to limited common elements. The limited common elements shall be labeled as such, and each limited common element depicted on the plats and plans shall show the identifying number of the unit to which it is assigned, if it has been assigned, unless the provisions of subdivision 5 of § 55.1-1912 make such designations unnecessary.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.58; 1975, c. 415; 1984, c. 601; 1991, c. 497; 1999, c. 560; 2008, cc. 851, 871; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1921. (Effective October 1, 2019) Bond to insure completion of improvements.

A. The declarant shall file with the Common Interest Community Board a bond entered into by the declarant in the sum of 100 percent of the estimated cost of completion, to the extent of the declarant's obligation as stated in the declaration, of all improvements to the common elements of the condominium labeled in the plat or plats as "NOT YET COMPLETED" or "NOT YET BEGUN" located upon submitted land and which the declarant reasonably believes will not be substantially complete at the time of conveyance of the first condominium unit. Such bond shall be conditioned upon the faithful performance of the declarant's obligation to complete such improvements in strict conformity with the plans and specifications for the same as described in the declaration.

B. The declarant shall file with the Common Interest Community Board a bond entered into by the declarant in the sum of 100 percent of the estimated cost of completion of a unit in which a time-share interest is conveyed before the unit has been certified as substantially complete in accordance with subsections A and B of § 55.1-1920. The bond required by this subsection shall be conditioned upon the faithful performance of the declarant's obligation to complete such improvements in strict conformity with the plans and specifications for the same as described in the declaration.

C. All bonds required in this section shall be executed by a surety company authorized to transact business in the Commonwealth or by such other surety as is satisfactory to the Board.

D. The Board may promulgate reasonable regulations that govern the return of bonds submitted in accordance with this section.

1977, c. 428, § 55-79.58:1; 1988, c. 15; 1999, c. 560; 2008, cc. 851, 871; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1922. (Effective October 1, 2019) Preliminary recordation of plats and plans.

Plats and plans previously recorded pursuant to subsections A, B, and C of § 55.1-1916 may be used in lieu of new plats and plans to satisfy in whole or in part the requirements of subsection B of § 55.1-1918, subsection B of § 55.1-1924, or § 55.1-1926 if certifications of such plats and plans are recorded by the declarant in accordance with subsections A and B of § 55.1-1920; and if such certifications are recorded, the plats and plans that they certify shall be deemed recorded pursuant to subsection C of § 55.1-1920 within the meaning of §§ 55.1-1918, 55.1-1924, and 55.1-1926. All condominium instruments for condominiums created prior to July 1, 1991, are hereby validated notwithstanding that the plats were prerecorded as if in compliance with this section and not recorded with amendments converting convertible land or adding additional land if the plats or subsequent amendments contained the required certifications.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.59; 1991, c. 497; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1923. (Effective October 1, 2019) Easement for encroachments.

To the extent that any unit or common element encroaches on any other unit or common element, whether by reason of any deviation from the plats and plans in the construction, repair, renovation, restoration, or replacement of any improvement or by reason of the settling or shifting of any land or improvement, a valid easement for such encroachment shall exist. The purpose of this section is to protect the unit owners, except in cases of willful and intentional misconduct by them or their agents or employees, and not to relieve the declarant or any contractor, subcontractor, or materialman of any liability which any of them may have by reason of any failure to adhere strictly to the plats and plans.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.60; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1924. (Effective October 1, 2019) Conversion of convertible lands.

A. The declarant may convert all or any portion of any convertible land into one or more units or limited common elements subject to any restrictions and limitations that the condominium instruments may specify. Any such conversion shall be deemed to have occurred at the time of the recordation of appropriate instruments pursuant to subsection B of this section and subsection C of § 55.1-1920.

B. Simultaneously with the recording of plats and plans pursuant to subsection C of § 55.1-1920, the declarant shall prepare, execute, and record an amendment to the declaration describing the conversion. Such amendment shall assign an identifying number to each unit formed out of a convertible land and shall reallocate undivided interests in the common elements in accordance with subsection B of § 55.1-1918. Such amendment shall describe or delineate any limited common elements formed out of the convertible land, showing or designating the unit to which each is assigned.

C. All convertible lands shall be deemed a part of the common elements except for such portions of such convertible lands as are converted in accordance with the provisions of this section. Until the expiration of the period during which conversion may occur or until actual conversion, whichever occurs first, the declarant alone shall be liable for real estate taxes assessed against the convertible land and any improvements on such convertible land and all other expenses in connection with that real estate, and no other unit owner and no other portion of the condominium shall be subject to a claim for payment of those taxes or expenses, and, unless the declaration provides otherwise, any income or proceeds from the convertible land and any improvements on such convertible land shall inure to the declarant. No such conversion shall occur after 10 years from the recordation of the declaration, or such shorter period of time as the declaration may specify.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.61; 1975, c. 415; 1986, c. 324; 1991, c. 497; 1993, c. 45; 2012, c. 520; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1925. (Effective October 1, 2019) Conversion of convertible spaces.

A. The declarant may convert all or any portion of any convertible space into one or more units or common elements, including limited common elements, subject to any restrictions and limitations that the condominium instruments may specify. Any such conversion shall be deemed to have occurred at the time of the recordation of appropriate instruments pursuant to subsection B and subsection B of § 55.1-1920.

B. Simultaneously with the recording of plats and plans pursuant to subsection E of § 55.1-1920, the declarant shall prepare, execute, and record an amendment to the declaration describing the conversion. Such amendment shall assign an identifying number to each unit formed out of a convertible space and shall allocate to each unit a portion of the undivided interest in the common elements appertaining to that space. Such amendment shall describe or delineate any limited common elements formed out of the convertible space, showing or designating the unit to which each is assigned.

C. If all or any portion of any convertible space is converted into one or more units in accordance with this section, the declarant shall prepare and execute, and record simultaneously with the amendment to the declaration, an amendment to the bylaws. The amendment to the bylaws shall reallocate votes in the unit owners' association, rights to future common profits, and liabilities for future common expenses not specially assessed, all as in the case of the subdivision of a unit in accordance with subsection D of § 55.1-1933.

D. Any convertible space not converted in accordance with the provisions of this section, or any portion of such convertible space not so converted, shall be treated for all purposes as a single unit until and unless it is so converted, and the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed applicable to any such convertible space, or portion of such convertible space, as though the same were a unit.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.62; 1999, c. 560; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1926. (Effective October 1, 2019) Expansion of condominium.

No condominium shall be expanded except in accordance with the provisions of the declaration and of this chapter. Any such expansion shall be deemed to have occurred at the time of the recordation of plats and plans pursuant to subsection C of § 55.1-1920, together with an amendment to the declaration, duly executed by the declarant, including all of the owners and lessees of the additional land added to the condominium. Such amendment shall contain a legal description by metes and bounds of the land added to the condominium and shall reallocate undivided interests in the common elements in accordance with the provisions of subsection B of § 55.1-1918. Such amendment may create convertible or withdrawable lands or both within the land added to the condominium, but this provision shall not be construed in derogation of the time limits imposed by or pursuant to subdivision D 3 of § 55.1-1916 and subsection C of § 55.1-1924.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.63; 1975, c. 415; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1927. (Effective October 1, 2019) Contraction of condominium.

No condominium shall be contracted except in accordance with the provisions of the declaration and of this chapter. Any such contraction shall be deemed to have occurred at the time of the recordation of an amendment to the declaration, executed by the declarant, containing a legal description by metes and bounds of the land withdrawn from the condominium. If portions of the withdrawable land were described pursuant to subdivision D 5 of § 55.1-1916, then no such portion shall be so withdrawn after the conveyance of any unit on such portion. If no such portions were described, then none of the withdrawable land shall be withdrawn after the first conveyance of any unit.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.64; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1928. (Effective October 1, 2019) Easement to facilitate conversion and expansion.

Subject to any restrictions and limitations the condominium instruments may specify, the declarant shall have a transferable easement over and on the common elements for the purpose of making improvements on the submitted land and any additional land pursuant to the provisions of those instruments and of this chapter and for the purpose of doing all things reasonably necessary and proper in connection with making such improvements.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.65; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1929. (Effective October 1, 2019) Easement to facilitate sales.

The declarant and his duly authorized agents, representatives, and employees may maintain sales offices or model units on the submitted land if and only if the condominium instruments provide for maintaining such sales offices or model units and specify the rights of the declarant with regard to the number, size, location, and relocation of such sales offices or model units. Any such sales office or model unit that is not designated a unit by the condominium instruments shall become a common element as soon as the declarant ceases to be a unit owner, and the declarant shall cease to have any rights with regard to such sales office or model unit unless it is removed forthwith from the submitted land in accordance with a right reserved in the condominium instruments to make such removal.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.66; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1930. (Effective October 1, 2019) Declarant's obligation to complete and restore.

A. No covenants, restrictions, limitations, or other representations or commitments in the condominium instruments with regard to anything that is or is not to be done on the additional land, the withdrawable land, or any portion of either shall be binding as to any portion of either lawfully withdrawn from the condominium or never added to the condominium, except to the extent that the condominium instruments so provide. But in the case of any covenant, restriction, limitation, or other representation or commitment in the condominium instruments or in any other agreement requiring the declarant to add all or any portion of the additional land or to withdraw any portion of the withdrawable land, or imposing any obligations with regard to anything that is or is not to be done on such land or with regard to such land, or imposing any obligations with regard to anything that is or is not to be done on or with regard to the condominium or any portion of such condominium, this subsection shall not be construed to nullify, limit, or otherwise affect any such obligation.

B. The declarant shall complete all improvements labeled "NOT YET COMPLETED" on plats recorded pursuant to the requirements of this chapter unless the condominium instruments expressly exempt the declarant from such obligation and shall, in the case of every improvement labeled "NOT YET BEGUN" on such plats, state in the declaration either the extent of the obligation to complete the same or that there is no such obligation.

C. To the extent that damage is inflicted on any part of the condominium by any person utilizing the easements reserved by the condominium instruments or created by §§ 55.1-1928 and 55.1-1929, the declarant together with any person causing the same shall be jointly and severally liable for the prompt repair of such damage and for the restoration of the same to a condition compatible with the remainder of the condominium.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.67; 1975, c. 415; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1931. (Effective October 1, 2019) Alterations within units.

A. Except to the extent prohibited, restricted, or limited by the condominium instruments, any unit owner may make any improvements or alterations within his unit that do not impair the structural integrity of any structure or otherwise lessen the support of any portion of the condominium. However, no unit owner shall do anything that would change the exterior appearance of his unit or of any other portion of the condominium except to such extent and subject to such conditions as the condominium instruments may specify.

B. If a unit owner acquires an adjoining unit, or an adjoining part of an adjoining unit, then such unit owner shall have the right to remove all or any part of any intervening partition or to create doorways or other apertures in such unit, notwithstanding the fact that such partition may in whole or in part be a common element, so long as no portion of any bearing wall or bearing column is weakened or removed and no portion of any common element other than that partition is damaged, destroyed, or endangered. Such creation of doorways or other apertures shall not be deemed an alteration of boundaries within the meaning of § 55.1-1932.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.68; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1932. (Effective October 1, 2019) Relocation of boundaries between units.

A. If the condominium instruments expressly permit the relocation of boundaries between adjoining units, then the boundaries between such units may be relocated in accordance with (i) the provisions of this section and (ii) any restrictions and limitations not otherwise unlawful that the condominium instruments may specify. The boundaries between adjoining units shall not be relocated unless the condominium instruments expressly permit it.

B. If the unit owners of adjoining units whose mutual boundaries may be relocated desire to relocate such boundaries, then the principal officer of the unit owners' association, or such other officer as the condominium instruments may specify, shall, upon written application of such unit owners, forthwith prepare and execute appropriate instruments pursuant to subsections C, D, and E.

C. An amendment to the declaration shall identify the units involved and shall state that the boundaries between those units are being relocated by agreement of the unit owners of such units, and the amendment shall contain conveyancing between those unit owners. If the unit owners of the units involved have specified in their written application a reasonable reallocation as between the units involved of the aggregate undivided interest in the common elements appertaining to those units, the amendment to the declaration shall reflect that reallocation.

D. If the unit owners of the units involved have specified in their written application a reasonable reallocation as between the units involved of the aggregate number of votes in the unit owners' association allocated to those units, an amendment to the bylaws shall reflect that reallocation and a proportionate reallocation of liability for common expenses as between those units.

E. Such plats and plans as may be necessary to show the altered boundaries between the units involved together with their other boundaries shall be prepared, and the units depicted on such plats and plans shall bear their identifying numbers. Such plats and plans shall indicate the new dimensions of the units involved, and any change in the horizontal boundaries of either as a result of the relocation of their boundaries shall be identified with reference to established datum. Such plats and plans shall be certified as to their accuracy and compliance with the provisions of this subsection (i) by a licensed land surveyor in the case of any plat and (ii) by a licensed architect, licensed engineer, or licensed land surveyor in the case of any plan.

F. When appropriate instruments in accordance with this section have been prepared, executed, and acknowledged, they shall be recorded by an officer of the unit owners' association following payment by the unit owners of the units involved of all reasonable costs for the preparation, acknowledgment, and recordation of such instruments. Such instruments are effective when executed by the unit owners of the units involved and recorded, and the recordation of such instruments is conclusive evidence that the relocation of boundaries so effectuated did not violate any restrictions or limitations specified by the condominium instruments and that any reallocations made pursuant to subsections C and D were reasonable.

G. Any relocation of boundaries between adjoining units shall be governed by this section and not by § 55.1-1933. Section 55.1-1933 shall apply only to such subdivisions of units as are intended to result in the creation of two or more new units in place of the subdivided unit.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.69; 1991, c. 497; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1933. (Effective October 1, 2019) Subdivision of units.

A. If the condominium instruments expressly permit the subdivision of any units, then such units may be subdivided in accordance with (i) the provisions of this section and (ii) any restrictions and limitations not otherwise unlawful that the condominium instruments may specify. No unit shall be subdivided unless the condominium instruments expressly permit it.

B. If the unit owner of any unit that may be subdivided desires to subdivide such unit, then the principal officer of the unit owners' association, or such other officer as the condominium instruments may specify, shall, upon written application of the subdivider, as such unit owner shall hereinafter be referred to in this section, forthwith prepare and execute appropriate instruments pursuant to subsections C, D, and E.

C. An amendment to the declaration shall assign new identifying numbers to the new units created by the subdivision of a unit and shall allocate to those units, on a reasonable basis acceptable to the subdivider, all of the undivided interest in the common elements appertaining to the subdivided unit. The new units shall jointly share all rights, and shall be equally liable jointly and severally for all obligations, with regard to any limited common elements assigned to the subdivided unit except to the extent that the subdivider may have specified in his written application that all or any portions of any limited common element assigned to the subdivided unit exclusively should be assigned to one or more, but less than all of the new units, in which case the amendment to the declaration shall reflect the desires of the subdivider as expressed in such written application.

D. An amendment to the bylaws shall allocate to the new units, on a reasonable basis acceptable to the subdivider, the votes in the unit owners' association allocated to the subdivided unit and shall reflect a proportionate allocation to the new units of the liability for common expenses formerly appertaining to the subdivided unit.

E. Such plats and plans as may be necessary to show the boundaries separating the new units together with their other boundaries shall be prepared, and the new units depicted on such plats and plans shall bear their new identifying numbers. Such plats and plans shall indicate the dimensions of the new units, and the horizontal boundaries of such units, if any, shall be identified on such plats and plans with reference to established datum. Such plats and plans shall be certified as to their accuracy and compliance with the provisions of this subsection (i) by a licensed land surveyor in the case of any plat and (ii) by a licensed architect, licensed engineer, or licensed land surveyor in the case of any plan.

F. When appropriate instruments in accordance with this section have been prepared, executed, and acknowledged, they shall be recorded by an officer of the unit owners' association following payment by the subdivider of all reasonable costs for the preparation, acknowledgment, and recordation of such instruments. Such instruments are effective when executed by the subdivider and recorded, and the recordation of such instruments is conclusive evidence that the subdivision so effectuated did not violate any restrictions or limitations specified by the condominium instruments and that any reallocations made pursuant to subsections C and D were reasonable.

G. Notwithstanding the definition of "unit" found in § 55.1-1900 and the provisions of subsection D of § 55.1-1925, this section shall have no application to convertible spaces, and no such space shall be deemed a unit for the purposes of this section. However, this section shall apply to any units formed by the conversion of all or any portion of any such convertible space, and any such unit shall be deemed a unit for the purposes of this section.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.70; 1991, c. 497; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1934. (Effective October 1, 2019) Amendment of condominium instruments.

A. If there is no unit owner other than the declarant, the declarant may unilaterally amend the condominium instruments, and an amendment signed by the declarant is effective upon recordation. This section shall not be construed to nullify, limit, or otherwise affect the validity of enforceability of any agreement renouncing or to renounce, in whole or in part, the right hereby conferred.

B. If any of the units in the condominium is restricted exclusively to residential use and there is any unit owner other than the declarant, the condominium instruments shall be amended only by agreement of unit owners of units to which two-thirds of the votes in the unit owners' association appertain, or such larger majority as the condominium instruments may specify, except in cases for which this chapter provides different methods of amendment. If none of the units in the condominium is restricted exclusively to residential use, the condominium instruments may specify a majority smaller than the minimum specified in the preceding sentence.

C. An action to challenge the validity of an amendment adopted by the unit owners' association pursuant to this section may not be brought more than one year after the amendment is recorded.

D. Agreement of the required majority of unit owners to any amendment of the condominium instruments shall be evidenced by their execution of the amendment, or ratifications of such amendment, and the same is effective when a copy of the amendment is recorded together with a certification, signed by the principal officer of the unit owners' association or by such other officer as the condominium instruments may specify, that the requisite majority of the unit owners signed the amendment or ratifications of such amendment.

E. Except to the extent expressly permitted or expressly required by other provisions of this chapter or agreed to by 100 percent of the unit owners, no amendment to the condominium instruments shall change (i) the boundaries of any unit, (ii) the undivided interest in the common elements, (iii) the liability for common expenses, or (iv) the number of votes in the unit owners' association that appertains to any unit.

F. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the declarant may unilaterally execute and record a corrective amendment or supplement to the condominium instruments to correct a mathematical mistake, an inconsistency, or a scrivener's error or clarify an ambiguity in the condominium instruments with respect to an objectively verifiable fact, including recalculating the undivided interest in the common elements, the liability for common expenses or the number of votes in the unit owners' association appertaining to a unit, within five years after the recordation of the condominium instrument containing or creating such mistake, inconsistency, error, or ambiguity. No such amendment or supplement may materially reduce what the obligations of the declarant would have been if the mistake, inconsistency, error, or ambiguity had not occurred. Regardless of the date of recordation of the condominium instruments, the principal officer of the unit owners' association may also unilaterally execute and record such a corrective amendment or supplement upon a vote of two-thirds of the members of the executive board. All corrective amendments and supplements recorded prior to July 1, 1986, are hereby validated to the extent that such corrective amendments and supplements would have been permitted by this subsection.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.71; 1993, c. 667; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1935. (Effective October 1, 2019) Use of technology.

A. Unless the condominium instruments expressly provide otherwise, (i) any notice required to be sent or received or (ii) any signature, vote, consent, or approval required to be obtained under any condominium instrument or any provision of this chapter may be accomplished using electronic means.

B. The unit owners' association, unit owners, and other persons entitled to occupy a unit may perform any obligation or exercise any right under any condominium instrument or any provision of this chapter by use of electronic means.

C. An electronic signature meeting the requirements of applicable law shall satisfy any requirement for a signature under any condominium instrument or any provision of this chapter.

D. Voting, consent to, and approval of any matter under any condominium instrument or any provision of this chapter may be accomplished by electronic means provided that a record is created as evidence of such vote, consent, or approval and maintained as long as such record would be required to be maintained in nonelectronic form.

E. Subject to other provisions of law, no action required or permitted by any condominium instrument or any provision of this chapter need be acknowledged before a notary public if the identity and signature of such person can otherwise be authenticated to the satisfaction of the executive board.

F. If any person does not have the capability or desire to conduct business using electronic means, the unit owners' association shall make reasonable accommodation, at its expense, for such person to conduct business with the unit owners' association without use of such electronic means.

G. This section shall not apply to any notice related to an enforcement action by the unit owners' association, an assessment lien, or foreclosure proceedings in enforcement of an assessment lien.

2010, c. 432, § 55-79.71:1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1936. (Effective October 1, 2019) Merger or consolidation of condominiums; procedure.

A. Any two or more condominiums, by agreement of the unit owners as provided in subsection B, may be merged or consolidated into a single condominium. In the event of a merger or consolidation, unless the agreement otherwise provides, the resultant condominium shall be the legal successor, for all purposes, of all of the preexisting condominiums, and the operations and activities of all unit owners' associations of the preexisting condominiums shall be merged or consolidated into a single unit owners' association that holds all powers, rights, obligations, assets, and liabilities of all preexisting unit owners' associations.

B. An agreement to merge or consolidate two or more condominiums pursuant to subsection A shall be evidenced by an agreement prepared, executed, recorded, and certified by the principal officer of the unit owners' association of each of the preexisting condominiums following approval by owners of units to which are allocated the percentage of votes in each condominium required to terminate that condominium. The agreement shall be recorded in every locality in which a portion of the condominium is located and shall not be effective until recorded.

C. Every merger or consolidation agreement shall provide for the reallocation of the allocated interests in the new unit owners' association among the units of the resultant condominium either (i) by stating the reallocations or the formulas upon which they are based or (ii) by stating the percentage of the overall allocated interests of the condominium that are allocated to all of the units comprising each of the preexisting condominiums, provided that the portion of the percentages allocated to each unit formerly comprising a part of the preexisting condominium shall be equal to the percentages of allocated interests allocated to that unit by the declaration of the preexisting condominium.

D. If the condominium instruments of a condominium to be merged or consolidated require a vote or consent of mortgagees in order to amend the condominium instruments or terminate the condominium, the same vote or consent of mortgagees shall be required before such merger or consolidation is effective. No merger or consolidation shall affect mortgagee rights, alter the priority of the lien of any mortgage, materially impair or affect any condominium unit as collateral for a mortgage, or affect a mortgagee's right to foreclose on a condominium unit as collateral without the prior written consent of the mortgagee. A vote or consent of a mortgagee required by this section may be deemed received pursuant to § 55.1-1941.

2014, c. 659, § 55-79.71:2; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1937. (Effective October 1, 2019) Termination of condominium.

A. If there is no unit owner other than the declarant, the declarant may unilaterally terminate the condominium. An instrument terminating a condominium signed by the declarant is effective upon recordation of such instrument. But this section shall not be construed to nullify, limit, or otherwise affect the validity or enforceability of any agreement renouncing or to renounce, in whole or in part, the right hereby conferred.

B. Except in the case of a taking of all the units by eminent domain, if any of the units in the condominium is restricted exclusively to residential use and there is any unit owner other than the declarant, the condominium may be terminated only by the agreement of unit owners of units to which four-fifths of the votes in the unit owners' association appertain, or such larger majority as the condominium instruments may specify. If none of the units in the condominium is restricted exclusively to residential use, the condominium instruments may specify a majority smaller than the minimum specified in this subsection.

C. Agreement of the required majority of unit owners to termination of the condominium shall be evidenced by their execution of a termination agreement, or ratifications of such agreement, and such agreement is effective when a copy of the termination agreement is recorded together with a certification, signed by the principal officer of the unit owners' association or by such other officer as the condominium instruments may specify, that the requisite majority of the unit owners signed the termination agreement or ratifications. Unless the termination agreement otherwise provides, prior to recordation of the termination agreement, a unit owner's prior agreement to terminate the condominium may be revoked only with the approval of unit owners of units to which a majority of the votes in the unit owners' association appertain. The termination agreement shall specify a date after which the termination agreement is void if the termination agreement is not recorded. For the purposes of this section, an instrument terminating a condominium and any ratification of such instrument shall be deemed a condominium instrument subject to the provisions of § 55.1-1911.

D. In the case of a condominium that contains only units having horizontal boundaries described in the condominium instruments, a termination agreement may provide that all of the common elements and units of the condominium shall be sold following termination. If, pursuant to the termination agreement, any property in the condominium is sold following termination, the termination agreement shall set forth the minimum terms of the sale.

E. In the case of a condominium that contains any units not having horizontal boundaries described in the condominium instruments, a termination agreement may provide for sale of the common elements. The termination agreement may not require that the units be sold following termination, unless the condominium instruments as originally recorded provide otherwise or all the unit owners consent to the sale. In the case of a master condominium that contains a unit that is a part of another condominium, a termination agreement for the master condominium shall not terminate the other condominium.

F. On behalf of the unit owners, the unit owners' association may contract for the disposition of property in the condominium, but the contract shall not be binding on the unit owners until approved pursuant to subsections B and C. If the termination agreement requires that any property in the condominium be sold following termination, title to the property, upon termination, shall vest in the unit owners' association as trustee for the holders of all interest in the units. Thereafter, the unit owners' association shall have powers necessary and appropriate to effect the sale. Until the termination has been concluded and the proceeds have been distributed, the unit owners' association shall continue in existence with all the powers the unit owners' association had before termination. Proceeds of the sale shall be distributed to unit owners and lien holders as their interests may appear, in proportion to the respective interests of the unit owners as provided in subsection I. Unless otherwise specified in the termination agreement, for as long as the unit owners' association holds title to the property, each unit owner or his successor in interest shall have an exclusive right to occupancy of the portion of the property that formerly constituted his unit. During the period of occupancy by the unit owner or his successor in interest, each unit owner or his successor in interest shall remain liable for any assessment or other obligation imposed on the unit owner by this chapter or the condominium instruments.

G. If the property that constitutes the condominium is not sold following termination, title to the common elements and, in the case of a condominium containing only units that have horizontal boundaries described in the condominium instruments, title to all the property in the condominium shall vest in the unit owners, upon termination, as tenants in common in proportion to the unit owners' respective interests as provided in subsection I. Any liens on the units shall shift accordingly. While the tenancy in common exists, each unit owner or his successor in interest shall have the exclusive right to occupancy of the portion of the property that formerly constituted the unit owner's unit.

H. Following termination of the condominium, the proceeds of any sale of property, together with the assets of the unit owners' association, shall be held by the unit owners' association as trustee for unit owners or lien holders on the units as their interests may appear. Following termination, any creditor of the unit owners' association who holds a lien on the unit that was recorded before termination may enforce the lien in the same manner as any lien holder. Any other creditor of the unit owners' association shall be treated as if he had perfected a lien on the units immediately before termination.

I. Unless the condominium instruments as originally recorded or as amended by 100 percent of the unit owners provide otherwise, the respective interests of unit owners referred to in subsections F, G, and H shall be as follows:

1. Except as provided in subdivision 2, the respective interests of the unit owners shall be the fair market values of their units, limited common elements, and common element interests immediately before the termination, as determined by one or more independent appraisers selected by the unit owners' association. The decision of the independent appraisers shall be distributed to the unit owners and become final unless disapproved within 30 days after distribution by unit owners of units to which one quarter of the votes in the unit owners' association appertain. The proportion of any unit owner's interest to the interest of all unit owners is determined by dividing the fair market value of that unit owner's unit and common element interest by the total fair market values of all the units and their common element interests.

2. If any unit or limited common element is destroyed to the extent that an appraisal of the fair market value of such unit or limited common element before destruction cannot be made, the interests of all unit owners are the unit owners' respective common element interests immediately before the termination.

J. Except as provided in subsection K, foreclosure or enforcement of a lien or encumbrance against the entire condominium shall not alone terminate the condominium, and foreclosure or enforcement of a lien or encumbrance against a portion of the condominium, other than withdrawable land, shall not withdraw that portion from the condominium. Foreclosure or enforcement of a lien or encumbrance against withdrawable land shall not alone withdraw the land from the condominium, but the person who takes title to the withdrawable land shall have the right to require from the unit owners' association, upon request, an amendment that excludes the land from the condominium.

K. If a lien or encumbrance against a portion of the property that comprises the condominium has priority over the condominium instruments and the lien or encumbrance has not been partially released, upon foreclosure, the parties foreclosing the lien or encumbrance may record an instrument that excludes the property subject to the lien or encumbrance from the condominium.

L. The foreclosure of any mortgage, deed of trust, or other lien shall not be deemed, ex proprio vigore, to terminate the condominium.

1993, c. 667, § 55-79.72:1; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1938. (Effective October 1, 2019) Rights of mortgagees.

No provision of this chapter shall be construed in derogation of any requirement of the condominium instruments that all or a specified number of the beneficiaries of mortgages or deeds of trust encumbering the condominium units approve specified actions contemplated by the unit owners' association.

1993, c. 667, § 55-79.72:2; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1939. (Effective October 1, 2019) Statement of unit owner rights.

Every unit owner who is a member in good standing of a unit owners' association shall have the following rights:

1. The right of access to all books and records kept by or on behalf of the unit owners' association according to and subject to the provisions of § 55.1-1945, including records of all financial transactions;

2. The right to cast a vote on any matter requiring a vote by the unit owners' association membership in proportion to the unit owner's ownership interest, except to the extent that the condominium instruments provide otherwise;

3. The right to have notice of any meeting of the executive board, to make a record of such meetings by audio or visual means, and to participate in such meeting in accordance with the provisions of § 55.1-1949;

4. The right to have (i) notice of any proceeding conducted by the executive board or other tribunal specified in the condominium instruments against the unit owner to enforce any rule or regulation of the unit owners' association and (ii) the opportunity to be heard and represented by counsel at the proceeding, as provided in § 55.1-1959, and the right of due process in the conduct of that hearing; and

5. The right to serve on the executive board if duly elected and a member in good standing of the unit owners' association, except to the extent that the condominium instruments provide otherwise.

The rights enumerated in this section shall be enforceable by any unit owner pursuant to the provisions of § 55.1-1915.

2015, c. 286, § 55-79.72:3; 2019, c. 712.

Article 3. Management of Condominium

§ 55.1-1940. (Effective October 1, 2019) Bylaws to be recorded with declaration; contents; unit owners' association; executive board; amendment of bylaws.

A. Bylaws providing for governance of the condominium by an association of all of the unit owners shall be recorded simultaneously with the declaration. The unit owners' association may be incorporated.

B. The bylaws shall provide whether or not the unit owners' association shall elect an executive board. If there is to be such a board, the bylaws shall specify the powers and responsibilities of the board and the number and terms of its members. Except to the extent the condominium instruments provide otherwise, any vacancy occurring in the executive board shall be filled by a vote of a majority of the remaining members of the executive board at a meeting of the executive board, even though the members of the executive board present at such meeting may constitute less than a quorum because a quorum is impossible to obtain. Each person so elected shall serve until the next annual meeting of the unit owners' association at which time a successor shall be elected by a vote of the unit owners. The bylaws may delegate to such board, inter alia, any of the powers and responsibilities assigned by this chapter to the unit owners' association. The bylaws shall also specify which, if any, of its powers and responsibilities the unit owners' association or its executive board may delegate to a managing agent.

C. The bylaws may provide for arbitration of disputes or other means of alternative dispute resolution in accordance with subsection C of § 55.1-1915.

D. In any case where an amendment to the declaration is required by subsection B, C, or D of § 55.1-1918, the person required to execute such amendment shall also prepare and execute, and record simultaneously with such amendment, an amendment to the bylaws. The amendment to the bylaws shall allocate votes in the unit owners' association to new units on the same basis as was used for the allocation of such votes to the units depicted on plats and plans recorded pursuant to subsections A and B of § 55.1-1920 or shall abolish the votes appertaining to former units, as appropriate. The amendment to the bylaws shall also reallocate rights to future common profits, and liabilities for future common expenses not specially assessed, in proportion to relative voting strengths as reflected by the amendment.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.73; 1978, c. 332; 1993, c. 667; 1998, c. 32; 2012, c. 758; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1941. (Effective October 1, 2019) Amendment to condominium instruments; consent of mortgagee.

A. If any provision in the condominium instruments requires the written consent of a mortgagee in order to amend the condominium instruments, the unit owners' association shall be deemed to have received the written consent of a mortgagee if the unit owners' association sends the text of the proposed amendment by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the mortgagee at the address supplied by such mortgagee in a written request to the unit owners' association to receive notice of proposed amendments to the condominium instruments and receives no written objection to the adoption of the amendment from the mortgagee within 60 days of the date that the notice of amendment is sent by the unit owners' association, unless the condominium instruments expressly provide otherwise. If the mortgagee has not supplied an address to the unit owners' association, the unit owners' association shall be deemed to have received the written consent of a mortgagee if the unit owners' association sends the text of the proposed amendment by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the mortgagee at the address filed in the land records or with the local tax assessor's office and receives no written objection to the adoption of the amendment from the mortgagee within 60 days of the date that the notice of amendment is sent by the unit owners' association, unless the condominium instruments expressly provide otherwise.

B. Subsection A shall not apply to amendments that alter the priority of the lien of the mortgagee or that materially impair or affect the unit as collateral or the right of the mortgagee to foreclose on a unit as collateral.

C. Where the condominium instruments are silent on the need for mortgagee consent, no mortgagee consent shall be required if the amendment to the condominium instruments does not specifically affect mortgagee rights.

1993, c. 1, § 55-79.73:1; 1998, c. 32; 2007, c. 675; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1942. (Effective October 1, 2019) Reformation of declaration; judicial procedure.

A. A unit owners' association may petition the circuit court in the county or city in which the condominium or the greater part of the condominium is located to reform the condominium instruments where the unit owners' association, acting through its executive board, has attempted to amend the condominium instruments regarding ownership of legal title of the common elements or real property using provisions outlined in the condominium instruments to resolve (i) ambiguities or inconsistencies in the condominium instruments that are the source of legal and other disputes pertaining to the legal rights and responsibilities of the unit owners' association or individual unit owners or (ii) scrivener's errors, including incorrectly identifying the unit owners' association, incorrectly identifying an entity other than the unit owners' association, or errors arising from oversight or from an inadvertent omission or mathematical mistake.

B. The court shall have jurisdiction over matters set forth in subsection A regarding ownership of legal title of the common elements or real property to:

1. Reform, in whole or in part, any provision of the condominium instruments; and

2. Correct mistakes or any other error in the condominium instruments that may exist with respect to the declaration for any other purpose.

C. A petition filed by the unit owners' association with the court setting forth any inconsistency or error made in the condominium instruments, or the necessity for any change in such instruments, shall be deemed sufficient basis for the reformation, in whole or in part, of the condominium instruments, provided that:

1. The unit owners' association has made three good faith attempts to convene a duly called meeting of the unit owners' association to present for consideration amendments to the condominium instruments for the reasons specified in subsection A, which attempts have proven unsuccessful as evidenced by an affidavit verified by oath of the principal officer of the unit owners' association;

2. There is no adequate remedy at law as practical and effective to attain the ends of justice as may be accomplished in the circuit court;

3. Where the declarant of the condominium still owns a unit or continues to have any special declarant rights in the condominium, the declarant joins in the petition of the unit owners' association;

4. A copy of the petition is sent to all unit owners at least 30 days before the petition is filed as evidenced by an affidavit verified by oath of the principal officer of the unit owners' association; and

5. A copy of the petition is sent to all mortgagees at least 30 days before the petition is filed as evidenced by an affidavit verified by oath of the principal officer of the unit owners' association.

D. Any mortgagee of a condominium unit in the condominium shall have standing to participate in the reformation proceedings before the court. No reformation pursuant to this section shall affect mortgagee rights, alter the priority of the lien of any mortgage, materially impair or affect any condominium unit as collateral for a mortgage, or affect a mortgagee's right to foreclose on a condominium unit as collateral without the prior written consent of the mortgagee. Consent of a mortgagee required by this section may be deemed received pursuant to § 55.1-1941.

2014, c. 659, § 55-79.73:2; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1943. (Effective October 1, 2019) Control of condominium by declarant.

A. The condominium instruments may authorize the declarant, or a managing agent or some other person selected or to be selected by the declarant, to appoint and remove some or all of the officers of the unit owners' association or its executive board, or to exercise powers and responsibilities otherwise assigned by the condominium instruments and by this chapter to the unit owners' association, the officers, or the executive board. The declarant, managing agent, or other person selected by the declarant to so appoint and remove officers or the executive board or to exercise such powers and responsibilities otherwise assigned to the unit owners' association, the officers, or the executive board shall be subject to liability as fiduciaries of the unit owners for their action or omissions during the period of declarant control as specified in the condominium instruments or, if not so specified, within such period as defined in this section. But no amendment to the condominium instruments shall increase the scope of such authorization if there is any unit owner other than the declarant, and no such authorization shall be valid after the time limit set by the condominium instruments or after units to which three-fourths of the undivided interests in the common elements appertain have been conveyed, whichever occurs first. For the purposes of the preceding sentence only, the calculation of the fraction of undivided interest shall be based upon the total undivided interests assigned or to be assigned to all units registered with the Common Interest Community Board pursuant to subsection B of § 55.1-1978 and described pursuant to subdivision A 4, B 2, or C 8 of § 55.1-1916.

B. The time limit initially set by the condominium instruments shall not exceed five years in the case of an expandable condominium; three years in the case of a condominium other than an expandable condominium, containing any convertible land; or two years in the case of any other condominium. Such time period shall begin upon settlement of the first unit to be sold in any portion of the condominium.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, at the request of the declarant, such time limits may be extended for a period not to exceed 15 years from the settlement of the first unit to be sold in any portion of the condominium or after units to which three-fourths of the undivided interests in the common elements appertain have been conveyed, whichever occurs first, provided that (i) a special meeting is held prior to the expiration of the initial period of declarant control; (ii) at such special meeting, the extension of such time limits is approved by a two-thirds affirmative vote of the unit owners other than the declarant; and (iii) at such special meeting, there is an election of a warranty review committee consisting of no fewer than three persons unaffiliated with the declarant.

Prior to any such vote, the declarant shall furnish to the unit owners in the notice of such special meeting made in accordance with § 55.1-1949 a written statement in a form provided by the Common Interest Community Board that discloses that an affirmative vote extends the right of the declarant, or a managing agent or some other person selected by the declarant, to (a) appoint and remove some or all of the officers of the unit owners' association or its executive board and (b) exercise powers and responsibilities otherwise assigned by the condominium instruments and by this chapter. In addition, such statement shall contain both a notice of the effect of the extension of declarant control on the enforcement of the warranty against structural defects provided by the declarant in accordance with § 55.1-1955 and a statement that a unit owner is advised to exercise whatever due diligence the unit owner deems necessary to protect his interest.

C. If entered into any time prior to the expiration of the period of declarant control, no contract or lease entered into with the declarant or any entity controlled by the declarant, management contract, employment contract, or lease of recreational or parking areas or facilities, which is directly or indirectly made by or on behalf of the unit owners' association, its executive board, or the unit owners as a group, shall be entered into for a period in excess of two years. Any such contract or agreement entered into on or after July 1, 1978, may be terminated without penalty by the unit owners' association or its executive board upon not less than 90 days' written notice to the other party given not later than 60 days after the expiration of the period of declarant control. Any such contract or agreement may be renewed for periods not in excess of two years; however, at the end of any two-year period the unit owners' association or its executive board may terminate any further renewals or extensions of such contract or agreement. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any lease referred to in § 55.1-1910 or subject to subsection E of § 55.1-1916.

D. If entered into at any time prior to the expiration of the period of declarant control, any contract, lease, or agreement, other than those subject to the provisions of subsection C, may be entered into by or on behalf of the unit owners' association, its executive board, or the unit owners as a group, if such contract, lease, or agreement is bona fide and is commercially reasonable to the unit owners' association at the time entered into under the circumstances.

E. This section does not apply to any contract, incidental to the disposition of a condominium unit, to provide to a unit owner for the duration of such unit owner's life, or for any term in excess of one year, nursing services, medical services, other health-related services, board and lodging and care as necessary, or any combination of such services. The rule of property law known as the rule restricting unreasonable restraints on alienation shall not be applied to defeat any provision of the condominium instruments requiring that the unit owners be parties to such contracts.

F. If the unit owners' association is not in existence or does not have officers at the time of the creation of the condominium, the declarant shall, until there is such an association with such officers, have the power and the responsibility to act in all instances where this chapter requires action by the unit owners' association, its executive board, or any officer.

G. Thirty days prior to the expiration of the period of declarant control, the declarant shall notify the governing body of the locality in which the condominium is located of the forthcoming termination of declarant control. Prior to the expiration of the 30-day period, the local governing body or an agency designated by the local governing body shall advise the principal elected officer of the condominium unit owners' association of any outstanding violations of applicable building codes or local ordinances or other deficiencies of record.

H. Within 45 days from the expiration of the period of declarant control, the declarant shall deliver to the president of the unit owners' association or his designated agent (i) all unit owners' association books and records held by or controlled by the declarant, including minute books and all rules, regulations, and amendments to such rules and regulations that may have been promulgated; (ii) an accurate and complete statement of receipts and expenditures prepared using the accrual method of accounting from the date of the recording of the condominium instruments to the end of the regular accounting period immediately succeeding the first annual meeting of the unit owners, not to exceed 60 days from the date of the election; (iii) a copy of the latest available approved plans and specifications for all improvements in the project or as-built plans, if available; (iv) all association insurance policies that are currently in force; (v) written unexpired warranties of the contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and manufacturers, if any; (vi) contracts in which the association is a contracting party, if any; (vii) a list of manufacturers of paints, roofing materials, and other similar materials if specified for use on the condominium property; and (viii) an inventory and description of stormwater facilities located on the common elements or which otherwise serve the condominium and for which the unit owners' association has, or subsequently may have, maintenance, repair, or replacement responsibility, together with the requirements for maintenance thereof.

The requirement for delivery of stormwater facility information required by clause (viii) shall be deemed satisfied by delivery to the association of a final site plan or final construction drawing showing stormwater facilities as approved by a local government jurisdiction and applicable recorded easements, or agreements if any, containing requirements for the maintenance, repair, or replacement of the stormwater facilities.

If the unit owners' association is managed by a management company in which the declarant, or its principals, have no pecuniary interest or management role, then such management company shall have the responsibility to provide the documents and information required by clauses (i), (ii), (iv), and (vi).

I. This section shall be strictly construed to protect the rights of the unit owners.

1974, c. 416, § 55-79.74; 1975, c. 415; 1978, c. 332; 1980, c. 738; 1984, c. 601; 1985, c. 83; 1996, c. 977; 2008, cc. 851, 871; 2013, c. 599; 2019, cc. 712, 724.

§ 55.1-1944. (Effective October 1, 2019) Deposit of funds.

All funds deposited with a managing agent shall be handled in a fiduciary capacity and shall be kept in a fiduciary trust account in a federally insured financial institution separate from other assets of the managing agent. The funds shall be the property of the unit owners' association and shall be segregated for each account in the records of the managing agent in a manner that permits the funds to be identified on an individual unit owners' association basis.

2007, cc. 696, 712, § 55-79.74:01; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1945. (Effective October 1, 2019) Books, minutes, and records; inspection.

A. The declarant, managing agent, unit owners' association, or person specified in the bylaws of the association shall keep detailed records of the receipts and expenditures affecting the operation and administration of the condominium and specifying the maintenance and repair expenses of the common elements and any other expenses incurred by or on behalf of the association. Subject to the provisions of subsections B, C, and E, upon request, any unit owner shall be provided a copy of such records and minutes. All financial books and records shall be kept in accordance with generally accepted accounting practices.

B. Subject to the provisions of subsection C, all books and records kept by or on behalf of the unit owners' association, including the unit owners' association membership list, and addresses and aggregate salary information of unit owners' association employees, shall be available for examination and copying by a unit owner in good standing or his authorized agent so long as the request is for a proper purpose related to his membership in the unit owners' association and not for pecuniary gain or commercial solicitation. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, this right of examination shall exist without reference to the duration of membership and may be exercised (i) only during reasonable business hours or at a mutually convenient time and location and (ii) upon five business days' written notice for a unit owner association managed by a common interest community manager and 10 business days' written notice for a self-managed unit owners' association, which notice shall reasonably identify the purpose for the request and the specific books and records of the unit owners' association requested.

C. Books and records kept by or on behalf of a unit owners' association may be withheld from examination or copying by unit owners and contract purchasers to the extent that they are drafts not yet incorporated into the books and records of the unit owners' association or if such books and records concern:

1. Personnel matters relating to specific, identified persons or a person's medical records;

2. Contracts, leases, and other commercial transactions to purchase or provide goods or services, currently in or under negotiation;

3. Pending or probable litigation. For purposes of this subdivision, "probable litigation" means those instances where there has been a specific threat of litigation from a person having standing to bring legal action or the legal counsel of such person;

4. Matters involving state or local administrative or other formal proceedings before a government tribunal for enforcement of the condominium instruments or rules and regulations promulgated by the executive board;

5. Communications with legal counsel that relate to subdivisions 1 through 4 or that are protected by the attorney-client privilege or the attorney work product doctrine;

6. Disclosure of information in violation of law;

7. Meeting minutes or other confidential records of an executive session of the executive board held pursuant to subsection C of § 55.1-1949;

8. Documentation, correspondence or management or executive board reports compiled for or on behalf of the unit owners' association or the executive board by its agents or committees for consideration by the executive board in executive session; or

9. Individual unit owner or member files, other than those of the requesting unit owner, including any individual unit owner's files kept by or on behalf of the unit owners' association.

D. Books and records kept by or on behalf of a unit owners' association shall be withheld from examination and copying in their entirety only to the extent that an exclusion from disclosure under subsection C applies to the entire content of such books and records. Otherwise, only those portions of the books and records containing information subject to an exclusion under subsection C may be withheld or redacted, and all portions of the books and records that are not so excluded shall be available for examination and copying, provided that the requesting member shall be responsible to the association for paying or reimbursing the association for any reasonable costs incurred by the association in responding to the request for the books and records and review for redaction of the same.

E. Prior to providing copies of any books and records, the unit owners' association may impose and collect a charge, not to exceed the reasonable costs of materials and labor, incurred to provide such copies. Charges may be imposed only in accordance with a cost schedule adopted by the executive board in accordance with this subsection. The cost schedule shall (i) specify the charges for materials and labor, (ii) apply equally to all unit owners in good standing, and (iii) be provided to such requesting unit owner at the time the request is made.

1980, c. 738, § 55-79.74:1; 1985, c. 75; 1989, c. 57; 1990, c. 662; 1992, c. 72; 1994, c. 463; 1999, c. 594; 2000, cc. 906, 919; 2001, c. 419; 2011, cc. 334, 361, 605; 2014, c. 207; 2018, c. 663; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1946. (Effective October 1, 2019) Management office.

Unless the condominium instruments expressly provide otherwise, the unit owners' association shall not be prohibited from maintaining a management office on common elements or in one or more units in the condominium.

1982, c. 545, § 55-79.74:2; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1947. (Effective October 1, 2019) Transfer of special declarant rights.

A. For the purposes of this section, "affiliate of a declarant" means any person who controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with a declarant. A person controls a declarant if the person (i) is a general partner, officer, director, or employer of the declarant; (ii) directly or indirectly, or acting in concert with one or more persons or through one or more subsidiaries, owns, controls, holds with power to vote, or holds proxies representing more than 20 percent of the voting interests in the declarant; (iii) controls in any manner the election of a majority of the directors of the declarant; or (iv) has contributed more than 20 percent of the capital of the declarant. A person is controlled by a declarant if the declarant (a) is a general partner, officer, director, or employer of the person; (b) directly or indirectly, or acting in concert with one or more other persons or through one or more subsidiaries, owns, controls, holds with power to vote, or holds proxies representing more than 20 percent of the voting interest in the person; (c) controls in any manner the election of a majority of the directors of the person; or (d) has contributed more than 20 percent of the capital of the person. Control does not exist if the powers described in this subsection are held solely as security for an obligation and are not exercised.

B. No special declarant right may be transferred except by a document evidencing the transfer recorded in every county and city in which any portion of the condominium is located. The instrument shall not be effective unless executed by the transferee.

C. Upon transfer of any special declarant right, the liability of a transferor declarant shall be as follows:

1. The transferor shall not be relieved of any obligation or liability arising before the transfer and shall remain liable for warranty obligations imposed upon him by subsection B of § 55.1-1955. Lack of privity shall not deprive any unit owner of standing to bring an action to enforce any obligation of the transferor.

2. If the successor to any special declarant right is an affiliate of a declarant, the transferor shall also be jointly and severally liable with the successor for any obligation or liability of the successor that relates to the condominium.

3. If a transferor retains any special declarant rights, but transfers other special declarant rights to a successor who is not an affiliate of the declarant, the transferor shall also be liable for all obligations and liabilities relating to the retained special declarant rights and imposed on a declarant by this chapter or by the condominium instruments.

4. A transferor shall have no liability for any breach of a contractual or warranty obligation or for any other act or omission, arising from the exercise of a special declarant right by a successor declarant who is not an affiliate of the transferor.

D. Except as otherwise provided by the mortgage or deed of trust, in case of foreclosure of a mortgage, sale by a trustee under a deed of trust, tax sale, judicial sale, or sale under receivership proceedings or the Bankruptcy Code as codified in Title 11 of the United States Code of any unit owned by a declarant or land subject to development rights:

1. A person acquiring title to all the land being foreclosed or sold shall, but only upon his request, succeed to all special declarant rights related to that land reserved by that declarant, or only to any rights reserved in the declaration pursuant to § 55.1-1929 and held by that declarant to maintain sales offices, management offices, model units, or signs.

2. The judgment or instrument conveying title shall provide for transfer of only the special declarant rights requested.

For the purposes of this subsection, "development rights" means any right or combination of rights to expand an expandable condominium, contract a contractable condominium, convert convertible land, or convert convertible space.

E. Upon foreclosure, sale by a trustee under a deed of trust, tax sale, judicial sale, or sale under receivership proceedings or the Bankruptcy Code as codified in Title 11 of the United States Code of all units and other land in the condominium owned by a declarant, (i) that declarant ceases to have any special declarant rights and (ii) any period of declarant control reserved under subsection A of § 55.1-1943 shall terminate, unless the judgment or instrument conveying title provides for transfer of all special declarant rights held by that declarant to a successor declarant.

F. The liabilities and obligations of any person who succeed to any special declarant right shall be as follows:

1. A successor to any special declarant right who is an affiliate of a declarant is subject to all obligations and liabilities imposed on the transferor by this chapter or by the condominium instruments.

2. A successor to any special declarant right, other than a successor described in subdivisions 3 and 4, who is not an affiliate of a declarant shall be subject to all obligations and liabilities imposed by this chapter or the condominium instruments on a declarant that relate to his exercise or nonexercise of special declarant rights, or on his transferor, except for (i) misrepresentations by any prior declarant, (ii) warranty obligations as provided in subsection B of § 55.1-1955 on improvements made by any previous declarant or made before the condominium was created, (iii) breach of any fiduciary obligation by any previous declarant or his appointees to the executive board, or (iv) any liability or obligation imposed on the transferor as a result of the transferor's acts or omissions after the transfer.

3. Unless he is an affiliate of a declarant, a successor to only a right reserved in the declaration to maintain sales offices, management offices, model units, or signs shall not exercise any other special declarant right and shall not be subject to any liability or obligation as a declarant, except the liabilities and obligations arising under Article 4 (§ 55.1-1970 et seq.) as to disposition by that successor.

4. A successor to all special declarant rights held by his transferor who is not an affiliate of that transferor and who succeeded to those rights pursuant to a deed in lieu of foreclosure or a judgment or instrument conveying title to units under subsection D may declare his intention in a recorded instrument to hold those rights solely for transfer to another person. Thereafter, until transferring all special declarant rights to any person acquiring title to any unit owned by the successor, or until recording an instrument permitting exercise of all those rights, that successor may not exercise any of those rights other than any right reserved by his transferor pursuant to subsection A of § 55.1-1943. Any attempted exercise of those rights is void. So long as a successor declarant may not exercise special declarant rights under this subsection, he shall not be subject to any liability or obligation as a declarant other than liability for his acts and omissions relating to the exercise of rights reserved under subsection A of § 55.1-1943.

G. Nothing in this section subjects any successor to a special declarant right to any claims against or other obligations of a transferor declarant, other than claims and obligations arising under this chapter or the condominium instruments.

1982, c. 545, § 55-79.74:3; 1991, c. 497; 1996, c. 977; 2006, c. 646; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1948. (Effective October 1, 2019) Declarants not succeeding to special declarant rights.

A declarant who does not succeed to any special declarant rights shall be liable only to the extent of his actions for claims and obligations arising under this chapter or the condominium instruments.

1993, c. 667, § 55-79.74:4; 2019, c. 712.

§ 55.1-1949. (Effective October 1, 2019) Meetings of unit owners' association and executive board.

A. 1. Meetings of the unit owners' association shall be held in accordance with the provisions of the condominium instruments at least once each year after the formation of the association. The bylaws shall specify an officer or his agent who shall, at least 21 days in advance of any annual or regularly scheduled meeting and at least seven days in advance of any other meeting, send to each unit owner notice of the time, place, and purposes of such meeting. In the event of cancellation of any annual meeting of the unit owners' association at which directors are elected, the seven-day notice of any subsequent meeting scheduled to elect such directors shall include a statement that the meeting is scheduled for the purpose of the election of directors.

2. Notice shall be sent by United States mail to all unit owners of record at the address of their respective units, unless the unit owner has provided to such officer or his agent an address other than the address of the unit, or notice may be hand delivered by the officer or his agent, provided that the officer or his agent certifies in writing that notice was delivered to the person of the unit owner.

3. In lieu of delivering notice as specified in subdivision 2, such officer or his agent may, to the extent that the condominium instruments or the condominium's rules and regulations expressly provide, send notice by electronic means if consented to by the unit owner to whom the notice is given, provided that the officer or his agent certifies in writing that notice was sent.

B. 1. Except as otherwise provided in the condominium instruments, the provisions of this subsection shall apply to executive board meetings at which business of the unit owners' association is transacted or discussed. All meetings of the unit owners' association or the executive board, including any subcommittee or other committee of such association or board, shall be open to all unit owners of record. The executive board shall not use work sessions or other informal gatherings of the executive board to circumvent the open meeting requirements of this section. The unit owners' association may, to the extent that the condominium instruments or adopted rules expressly provide, send notice by electronic means if consented to by the officer to whom the notice is given. Minutes of the meetings of the executive board shall be recorded and shall be available as provided in § 55.1-1945.

2. Notice of the time, date, and place of each meeting of the executive board or of any subcommittee or other committee of the executive board, and of each meeting of a subcommittee or other committee of the unit owners' association, shall be published where it is reasonably calculated to be available to a majority of the unit owners.

A unit owner may make a request to be notified on a continual basis of any such meetings, which request shall be made at least once a year in writing and include the unit owners' name, address, zip code, and any email address as appropriate. Notice of the time, date, and place shall be sent to any unit owner requesting notice (i) by first-class mail or email in the case of meetings of the executive board or (ii) by email in the case of meetings of any subcommittee or other committee of the executive board or of a subcommittee or other committee of the unit owners' association.

Notice, reasonable under the circumstances, of special or emergency meetings shall be given contemporaneously with the notice provided to members of the (i) executive board or any subcommittee or other committee of such board or (ii) subcommittee or other committee of the unit owners' association conducting the meeting.

3. Unless otherwise exempt as relating to an executive session pursuant to subsection C, at least one copy of all agenda packets and materials furnished to members of the executive board or subcommittee or other committee of the executive board for a meeting shall be made available for inspection by the membership of the unit owners' association at the same time such documents are furnished to the members of the executive board.

4. Any unit owner may record any portion of a meeting required to be open. The executive board or subcommittee or other committee of the executive board conducting the meeting may adopt rules (i) governing the placement and use of equipment necessary for recording a meeting to prevent interference with the proceedings and (ii) requiring the unit owner recording the meeting to provide notice that the meeting is being recorded.

If a meeting of the executive board is conducted by telephone conference or video conference or similar electronic means, at least two board members shall be physically present at the meeting place included in the notice. The audio equipment shall be sufficient for any member in attendance to hear what is said by any board member participating in the meeting who is not physically present.

5. Voting by secret or written ballot in an open meeting is a violation of this chapter except for the election of officers.

C. The executive board or any subcommittee or other committee of the executive board may convene in executive session to consider personnel matters; consult with legal counsel; discuss and consider contracts, probable or pending litigation, and matters involving violations of the condominium instruments or rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to such condominium instruments for which a unit owner, his family members, tenants, guests, or other invitees are responsible; or discuss and consider the personal liability of unit owners to the unit owners' association, upon the affirmative vote in an open meeting to assemble in executive session. The motion shall state sp